Let me just say that I have always loved Collards. Let me also say that I have always been intimidated to cook them.
Oh! I’ve tried!
I’ve tried ALL sorts of ways, but it wasn’t until my mom came down for a visit, that I finally found the EASIEST way on earth to fix them.
I had this huge pre-washed, pre-cut bag of Collard Greens in my fridge that I had to fix very soon, or they would go bad. I bought them on my last trip to Sam’s Club (yes! I’m a Sam’s girl). I had seen them and feeling pretty ambitious, bought them only to get home later, feel intimidated again, and toss them in the fridge.
I said, “MOM! I don’t have any fat back or bacon or anything you use to cook them.”
She says, “Well, do you have any bacon grease?”
Now, growing up, my mom used to always drain her grease from frying bacon, put it in the fridge to solidify and then use it later to make her eggs. I definitely don’t use this method myself to make eggs, BUT! I do drain it, put it in the fridge until it solidifies, and then throw it away, so nothing goes down the kitchen sink!
So I thought, “WHY YES! I DO!”
SO! Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what we did and I will continue to cook my Collards this way from now until forever:
I took that big ole bag of collard greens. Don’t fret! They will cook down kinda like spinach.
Then, I took a big pot and filled it with only a little bit of water, maybe a 1/4 of the way up.
The pre-cut bags sometimes have some small stem pieces still attached, so I just break these off. If you prefer to leave on, you can. They will cook and soften. I just prefer mine off. They have a somewhat bitter taste.
Bring water to a boil.
After picking through collards for stems, I dumped about half of them into pot.
After they cooked down, I dumped the rest into pot.
Then I let them cook down, helping them along by pressing down here and there with a spoon.
Once they cooked down, I headed to the fridge!
Sorry if this grosses you out. It’s just bacon grease I let solidify in the fridge from the day before. I took a heaping spoonful…
Or 2 or 3 and plopped them into the pot. Then I salt and peppered them and put on the lid and let them simmer for an hour.
Afterwards, I drained the liquid through a colander.
Grabbed my trusty Pampered Chef crinkle cutter. (used for more than just fancy potatoes!)
And went to town! Well, sort of. My hubby doesn’t like his collards chopped that much. I on the other hand, grew up eating them chopped so much, they looked as though they had been pulverized into a green colored mash. This, however, did not bother me a bit.
This is the size they were when I finished chopping.
They were REALLY good! My husband, who loves them, thought so as well. He is very happy my mom came down because now he can have Collards whenever he wants them. Thanks MOM!!!
If you like the way the pork chops in the background look, stay tuned. Grilled Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy will be making an appearance very soon!
Recipe: Easy Peasy Collard Greens
– 1 Bag of pre washed, pre cut Collard Greens (easily found at the grocery store now or a big bag at bulk stores)
– Reserved Bacon Grease
Go through bag of Collard Greens and discard any stem pieces, breaking leaves off as necessary.
Take a large pot and fill about 1/4 of the way with water. Bring water to a boil.
Fill pot with half of Collard Greens and let cook down for a minute or two, helping it by pushing greens down with a spoon. Once cooked down, add the rest of the Collard Greens.
Add 2 -3 spoonfuls of reserved bacon grease to pot depending on how many collards are being cooked. If using a smaller bag, only use 2. If using a larger bag, use 3.
Salt and pepper and then simmer for 1 hour.
Drain Collards and return to pot. Using a hand held chopping tool, chop the Collard Greens to desired consistancy.
Serve with vinegar or alone. Salt and pepper to taste.
*Note: If you would prefer to use more bacon grease than suggested, you can. This is only a guided amount and completely up to the cook.