Saturday, June 5, 2010

Collard Greens

I don't know many collard people. This was not intentional, but rather an accident of my youth. My people were artichoke, broccoli rabe, cabbage, chard, and cardoon people. I spent much time around the block at my grandmother's, (who most called "Mama Rose")...often she would send me into the alley between her house and the garage next store to pick wild cardoon, whereupon she would fry it into delicious patties with egg, grated cheese and breadcrumb.

The fact that they often spray-painted cars in that garage, venting into the alley, and the fact that those patties were likely clogging my arteries at an early age has yet to catch up with me. I loved her dearly, and her cooking...she inspires me to this day, admittedly with a more healthier focus.

But I digress. Back to how I became a collard person.

It was about the year 2000, and we were at the Atlantic City Seafood Festival, and between beer and the ever-present crafters, we decided to go to the food booths to sample some great seafood. Unfortunately, it was over-priced, or utterly fried and dried crap. I mean, $7 for 5 grizzled scallops on a BBQ skewer? Not my cheap ass.

Then, I saw a booth for Kelsey & Kim's Soul Food. Appreciating the irony that this was, in fact, a seafood fest, we saw them serving heaping platters of steaming spicy pulled pork, with a side of this green stuff that was cooked with the pork. Collards! I had never tried them. We got a couple of plates, sat on a hill near the band, and had an unbelievably delicious feast of savory spicy pork, and these rich hearty greens. It turns out to be the perfect green for slow-cooking for hours without having it turn into a liquid. Needing more, and in quantity, I began playing with my own recipe's.

Pulled Pork with Collard Greens
-1 Pork Shoulder
-2 lg bunches Collard Greens
-1 to 2 cup of "sauce" (I use a Georgia Peach/Vidalia Onion Hot Sauce) 

Trim the shoulder of all skin and fat visible. 
Place in a big roasting pan, bony side down. Put in an oven for 1 hour at 350.
Wash collards well. Remove stems, and chop.
Reduce heat to 225, add collards around shoulder, and cover. Cook 4 hours.
Remove collards, then shred the pork with 2 forks. Feast!

Collard Greens with Smoked Pork
I came across smoked pork neck-bones the other day for 50 cents a pound. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but anything on sale for that price is fair game to I made a batch of collards with them. It gave it a rich taste, with all the smoky flavor. My friend Kim's father uses smoked turkey legs, which were also delicious, but I think you would prefer a good pork any day.

-2 lbs of smoked pork neck-bones, turkey legs, etc.
-2 lg bunches Collard Greens

Wash collards well. Remove stems, and chop.
Fill a dutch oven with 1/2 the collards, 1/2 the meat, and repeat. Pour in 2 cups of water.
Cook at 225 for 3 hours.

No comments:

Post a Comment