You may have read in my last post that we were away for a few days in Cambridge/Boston, MA, a couple weeks ago. While we were there, we went to this AMAZING restaurant in a neighboring area called Redbones BBQ. We arrived fairly late in the evening and the place was still packed, line up out the door, which was and still is totally typical of this hopping joint!
I wanted to have a little (well actually a large) taste of a variety of different kinds of ribs, so I ordered the “Barbecue Belt”, which was a combo that included Memphis, Texas and Arkansas ribs along with the Beef Brisket. The beef brisket was by far my fav, as the meat totally melted in your mouth. So scrumptious!!! We passed on the usual side, which was baked beans and cornbread and opted for the collard greens (as recommended by Mat). Prior to this, I had never really heard of, let alone even tried collard greens. As I slowly worked my way through the savoury mound of ribs, I finally got to taste them. They were hidden underneath all the meat, but definitely had rights to stand on their own ~ they were to die for!
After having our dins, I was inspired to come up with a similar, yet recipe of my own for how to prepare collard greens. So yesterday, I set off and headed to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients. To be honest, I wasn’t totally certain what I was looking for, but improvised in my head and imagined what would make them taste yummy. I browsed around a couple local stores and was unable to find collard greens, until I went to The Wholesome Food Market in the Beaches. I was in luck! There were 2 bunches left and I was happy to see that they were organic and Ontario grown…BONUS!!! =) Excited to get started in the kitchen, I headed back home with my bags full of goodies and got cookin’…
- 1 bunch collard greens- washed and chopped
- 6-8 slices bacon (optional, but highly recommended!) - could also sub in turkey or ham here
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 cups or chicken stock or water- I used Ontario's Own- Pure & Simple Chicken Stock
- 1 medium yellow onion- diced
- 3 cloves garlic- crushed
- fresh ground pepper and sea salt (to taste)
- a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- begin by cooking the bacon in a frying pan over low to medium heat (cook to desired crispiness)
- when finished cooking, pour bacon grease into a container, keeping approximately 2 tbsp of it in the pan
- in addition to this, you can also add in 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil if you wish
- chop up the onion and crush the garlic cloves
- cook until golden brown in the rendered lard/coconut oil
- next pour in the chicken broth or water, which ever you choose and bring to a boil
- reduce heat to medium and add in chopped collard greens, and cover (tip- the leaves are quite large, so I washed, then rolled a few together to chop them = "Chiffonade" cutting technique)
- cook on this heat, stirring occasionally for approximately 40 minutes, or until completely softened.
- add in crushed red pepper flakes, reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes
- finally, drain out access liquid and add in crumbled slices of bacon
- mix together and plate
- top with fresh ground pepper and sea salt and garnish with several slices of lemon
“Long a staple of the Southern United States, collard greens, unlike their cousins kale and mustard greens, have a very mild, almost smoky flavor. Although they are available year-round they are at their best from January through April.
While collard greens share the same botanical name as kale they have their own distinctive qualities. Like kale, collards are one of the non-head forming members of the Brassica family along with broccoli and cauliflower. The dark blue-green leaves that are smooth in texture and relatively broad distinguish them from the frilly edged leaves of kale.” To read on, click here. (Taken from WHF website)