1-2 bundles of collards
1 small cabbage (optional)
Fat back, salt pork or ham hock
Salt and black pepper for taste
Genolia would always wait until after the first frost to eat collards. I think she said it would make them taste sweeter. She came from the day when southerners would cook vegetables with fat back or salt pork as some call it. Sometimes a ham hock was used.
You can us a little fat free chicken broth if cooking for someone with heart health in mind, or cook and add a little olive oil and seasonings.
I remember watching as she washed them over and over and over again. Usually it would be in three sinks of water. The first would have some salt poured over it to get rid of bugs that may be in the greens.
She would not cook the big stems, and would meticulously pull the greens away from a very fat stem. Actually she did this two different ways depending on the size of the collard leaves. If they were young and tender she would just leave them whole. If they were larger she would tear into pieces about 2 to 3 inch pieces.
She would put on a large pot with little less than half pot of water, with a piece of salt pork about 2" square in the water. She would actually cook this for 15-20 minutes.
Then she would put the leaves into the water boiling the entire time. They would cook down rather quickly and then just keep adding collards until you get them all in the pot.
Cover with a lid and cook for 30-40 minutes.
Cut up a small cabbage, wash, chop and add to the collard pot. She said this would cut the bitterness of the collards. Simmer this slowly, testing from time to time with a fork for tenderness.
**You certainly don't have to add the cabbage that is just what she always did.**
When tender she would drain 3/4 of her liquid off of collards. She would then chop with a saw tooth chopper with handle until they wre chopped very small. Be careful because this is hot.
She would then take that fat back out of the pot and put into a frying pan (iron if you have one) to cook with a lid on because with the water in the pork it would spatter/pop like crazy. She would render this fat out and then add the chopped collards to the frying pan with the rendered fat. Stir mixing well add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve while warm they are delicious.