My brother Eddie was over for dinner a while ago one fortuitous night when we happened to be having collard greens. I say fortuitous because Ed introduced us to a wonderful new way to serve these healthful, somewhat bitter greens – with barbecue sauce. Huh? Barbecue sauce? Ed explained that whenever he had collard greens it was with barbecued ribs, and the sauce from the ribs would make its way over to the collard greens, making them taste oh so good. Well, that was enough incentive to try it, and I must agree, collard greens are excellent served with a little BBQ sauce. They are also pretty good on their own with onions and garlic. Here’s my dad’s recipe.
We use bacon fat here primarily for flavor. Bacon fat provides an excellent balance to the natural bitter of the collard greens. That said, you can easily skip the bacon fat and just use a little more olive oil.
- 2 lbs collard greens, tough stems discarded, leaves chopped
- 2 Tbsp medium onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons bacon fat
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp dark sesame oil (Dynasty or comparable)
- Chili pepper flakes, a pinch
- Salt, a couple pinches
- Sugar, a couple pinches
1 Use a large skillet with a tight fitting cover. Melt bacon fat and heat olive oil on medium heat. Sauté onion until transparent, a couple of mintues. Add garlic and and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2 Mix in the greens, sesame oil, chili pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Cover and cook until tender, 8-15 minutes. (Note that young collard greens will cook up relatively quickly. Older greens may take upwards of 45 minutes to tenderize.)
If you want, serve with barbecue sauce.