My father was born and raised in Kentucky. He loved country cooking. His mother taught him to make the best greens ever. We had them often, with dinner. For those of you who don’t know, when I say greens, I’m talking about collard greens or kale greens or sometimes it’s a combination of those greens. My personal favorite is a mix of collard greens, kale, turnip and mustard greens….all cooked together with bacon, ham hock, or a smoked turkey leg or wing. My mom and dad always used ham hocks in their greens. It gives so much flavor. A lot of people cook their greens with a bit of vinegar cooked right in the pot. But my dad always had a bottle of hot pepper vinegar on hand. He would fill a jar with sliced jalapenos, serranos or some other kind of chili pepper and fill it with vinegar. When the vinegar ran low, he would just keep adding vinegar to the chili peppers in the jar. Who knows how long he kept adding vinegar before he would replace the chili peppers…….months…maybe years!!! Who knows!! 🙂 We would sprinkle this wonderful, hot vinegar on our greens. It’s hard for me to eat them any other way. So good….so, so, good. We usually had some homemade cornbread, to go along with it. Such a great combo. Think I will go heat some up now.
Country Collard Greens with Kale
1 lb pkg collard greens (I buy them prewashed and chopped in a package)
1 bunch kale, pulled off the stem
½ small onion, chopped
4 slices smoked bacon or a ham hock, or smoked turkey leg or wing
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
Couple splashes of red wine vinegar (optional)
If you are using bacon, chop it up in bite size pieces and fry it in a large pot with the onion. Add everything else and cook for 2-3 hours on low to medium heat until tender and no longer bright green. If you are using ham hock or turkey leg, just throw it in with the greens, stock and water. This cooks up great in a crock pot too.
Hot Pepper Vinegar
Fill a small jar, with freshed sliced jalapenos or serrano peppers. Pour vinegar over the peppers, filling the jar. The longer it sits, the more flavor your vinegar will have. As you use your vinegar, just keep adding vinegar to refill. This is great sprinkled on greens, salads, broccoli, corn. Good stuff.