These Spicy Collard Greens are slow cooked in a bacon-flavored broth until tender and spiced up with some red pepper flakes and hot sauce. They make a perfect side to any meat or can be eaten on their own with cornbread. An hour of cooking makes the collard greens tender and almost silky, but they still have some bite and substance.
With the addition of apple cider vinegar, these spicy collard greens really have some TWANG. And then the hot sauce fires up your mouth. There’s no lack of flavor here.
We love our greens in the south whether they be turnip, mustard, or collard greens. Just about every southerner has a personal favorite. Mine is collard greens which is fitting since collard greens are the official state vegetable of my state. That would be South Carolina.
The best way to eat collard greens is with cornbread to soak up the pot likker. That’s the highly concentrated, full of flavor broth that is the result of slow cooking collard greens. There’s nothing else that tastes quite like it. Southern grandmothers are known for saying, “Pot likker will cure what ails you and if nothing is ailing you, it will give you a good cleaning out.”
It certainly cures what ails me. I can’t get enough of it. Spicy Collard Greens are pure fall comfort food, southern style.
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- 2 pounds collard greens, rinsed
- 5 slices think bacon, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- ¾ cup chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
- salt and pepper
- Use a knife to cut on either side of the large rib running up each collard green leaf. Remove it and discard it. You don't need to go all the way up the leaf, just remove the thickest part. For smaller leaves, just remove the stem. Stack about 4 to 5 leaves, roll them up, and cut into ½-inch strips. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Add onion to bacon fat and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened.
- Add broth, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and tabasco sauce to pot. Stir to combine.
- Add collard greens and use tongs to turn and mix them until they reduce in size some. Cover, turn heat to low and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- Before serving, sprinkle bacon on top and season to taste with salt and pepper.
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