Dutch Oven Collard Greens
Collard greens are probably my favorite Southern comfort food. I’m not from the South, and I haven’t spent any time there. So, technically, I’ve never had REAL collard greens. Despite that fact, I still absolutely LOVE my recipe for them. My mom first cooked my collard greens with a ham hock, and they were so much better than I imagined. Who knew that this tough, green leaf could taste so good? These Dutch Oven Collard Greens are going to be your new favorite comfort food.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I’ll let you in on the secret: apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar gives these greens a kick and some tang, and it also helps to tenderize the collard greens even more. Not many people add in the vinegar before the cooking process, but I feel that it results in a deep and delicious flavor. I will often add a little splash of apple cider vinegar when the greens are done just to brighten them up.
Okay, I know a lot of people eat them vegetarian, but I really love to add ham or bacon to mine. Collard greens are always a dish I make after a holiday with ham. I save the ham bone and make greens a few days later. Using a leftover ham bone yields more meat in the greens, which I love. This time I didn’t have a ham bone, so I used a ham hock and added some bacon for more meat and flavor.
I cook these greens in my Le Creuset Dutch oven because it holds so much heat in and helps them become tender. I love these Amazon Basics enameled cast iron Dutch ovens; they are a great product at a quarter of the price. I have also cooked these in an Instant Pot, which doesn’t take quite as long. Either way, you end up with a one-pot meal that will have you screaming for seconds.
My mom likes to eat the greens as a meal, because they do have a lot of substance. Me, I go all out. I like a full-on BBQ or Southern meal with comfort food. This usually results in a lot of leftovers, which is great too. I love to make these greens to go along with my Instant Pot BBQ Brisket and some macaroni and cheese. Creamy, tangy, sweet and spicy is a perfect combination for this heavy and comforting meal.
What do you like to eat your collard greens with? They go great with these tasty recipes:
Dutch Oven Collard Greens
- Dutch Oven or Large Pot with Lid
- 2 bunches collard greens (or 1 bag chopped)
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 ham hock or ham bone
- 4-5 slices bacon chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth (or half water half chicken broth)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
- Rinse the collard greens and trim the stems off, unless using pre-chopped. Cut into 1-inch strands.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, cook the bacon pieces until done.
- Remove cooked bacon and set aside. Do not drain fat from pot.
- Saute the chopped onions in the bacon fat until translucent.
- Add ham hock or ham bone to pot with 4 cups water/broth and 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar.
- If ham hock is not covered completely by the liquid, be sure to flip it occasionally to cook on all sides. Cover the pot and cook for 1 to 1½ hours at medium heat.
- Add the chopped collard greens and crushed red pepper to the pot with the ham hock. Stir around and make sure the collard greens are submerged in the liquid before replacing the lid.
- Cook the covered collard greens for 45 minutes on low heat.
- Once the collard greens are cooked and tender, remove the ham hock or bone from the pot. Cut the meat off the bone and chop into pieces.
- Add the chopped meat back in to the collard greens. You can add another splash of apple cider vinegar to brighten it up. Add the cooked bacon to the collard greens and stir to combine.
- Serve with your favorite sides or meal.