Slow-Simmered Collard Greens
- 3 pounds washed, trimmed and cut collard greens
- 1 large red onion
- 6 ounces salt pork
- 4-8 cloves garlic, according to preference, thinly sliced
- 2 cups water, plus additional water as needed
- 1-1/2 cups dry white wine or chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper, to taste (I like a great deal of pepper and usually use between two teaspoons and a tablespoon.)
Thinly slice the salt pork (about 1/8 of an inch thick) then cut the slices into thin strips (about 1/4 of an inch thick.) Transfer salt pork strips to a deep, heavy bottomed skillet, pot or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid over medium heat. Stirring frequently -taking care because salt pork pops and spits a lot as it browns- cook the salt pork until crispy all over and golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the crispy salt pork strips to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.* Remove any excess fat drippings from the pan, leaving only 1/4 cup of drippings in the pan.
*The reserved crispy salt pork can either be scattered over the greens before serving or baked into the best cornbread you’ll ever taste. I’ve done both and I’ve loved them equally.
Cut onion in half and peel. Lay -cut side down- on the cutting board and slice into moderately sized half-moons (between 1/4 and 1/2 of an inch thick.) Move onions and garlic into the pork drippings in the hot pan still over medium heat. Cook for one to two minutes or until fragrant but not browned.
Add a handful or two of greens to the pot and stir until reduced slightly in size (about one minute). Repeat with greens, one handful or two at a time, until all the greens have been incorporated and slightly wilted. Add water, white wine,salt and black pepper and stir. Bring liquids to a boil, tightly lid the pan and turn the heat to low. Allow to simmer for about one and a half hours, checking liquids and adding as necessary, or until the greens are fall-apart tender.
Serve hot with cornbread, black-eyed peas and hot pepper vinegar for the ultimate experience.