COLLARD GREENS - A Southern Recipe using neck bones or ham hocks.

A Southern Recipe for country cooking using neck bones or ham kocks

Collard Greens are a seasonal Southern Vegetable green (usually grown in early Spring and late Fall).

They have a unique taste of their own that separates them from your standard greens such as Spinach, Turnip, and Mustard.

Although each of these other vegetable greens are delicious in themselves, Collards are what you will typically find grown and eaten more often in sections of the South, than in other parts of the country.

If you add a Ham Hock and maybe some Bacon or Bacon "drippins", and maybe a chunk of Butter you will have a flavor combination that will "knock your socks off".

I was recently reminded by a fellow reader that some foods are not just foods for the body, but foods for the Soul!

Old recipes can be enjoyed for what they are, of course, but often they are made even better for the old memories they bring back to mind.

As I told him, these special dishes are to be savored twice; once for the wonderful flavors, but while eating, you may find yourself savoring the memories that are brought to mind.

Collard Greens - Cooked Southern Style using pork meat

Collard Greens cooked with Ham hocks
Collard Greens cooked with Ham hocks | Source

Collard Greens - INGREDIENTS

2- large bunches of fresh Collard Greens, washed

1- lb. Smoked Meat (Ham Hocks, Smoked Neck Bones, Smoked Turkey Wings, etc.)

1- tbs. Seasoned Salt

1- tbs. Bacon Drippings

1- tbs. Butter

3- qts. Water

Collard Greens - DIRECTIONS

1- Bring the water to a Boil and add the Smoked meat and Salt.

2- Reduce the heat to MEDIUM and cook for 1-hour.

3- Wash the Greens thoroughly and pat dry.

4- Remove the leaves from the main stems.

5- Stack 6-8 leaves on top of each other and roll each stack up.

6- Slice the stacks in 1/2 to 1- inch pieces.

7- Place the Greens into the pot with the Meat, then add the Bacon drippings, and Butter.

8- Cook for about 45-minutes.

9- Taste and season to your taste, then Serve

Collard Greens NOTES and TIPS

NOTE: Some people like to add a little of their favorite Hot Sauce to their Greens when eating, so have some handy.

NOTE: By the time this dish is done, the meat should be falling off of the bones. And every serving should get a little bit of the meat.

NOTE: Some people will combine Collards with either Turnip or Mustard Greens to get a little different flavor. But, it's all good!

How to cook Southern Style Collard Greens

© 2011 Don Bobbitt

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Comments 25 comments

emichael profile image

emichael 5 years ago from New Orleans

This looks great! I love collard greens, but I've never made them before. Will definitely have to give this a try.

zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

I'm not much of a greens eater but I do try. I will have to try this recipe. Thank you so much.

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Thanks for the Kind words emichael and zzron.

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kada94566 5 years ago

Is that the same Swiss chard? I usually cook it the same way you do but with a baked chicken and red potatoes. Kay

Wmod514 profile image

Wmod514 5 years ago from Upstate South Carolina

I have grown to love greens Don...been experimenting and my last batch kicked butt...may have to post it the frugal blog by the way, keep it going, I appreciate the props !!

Jaime Brewise profile image

Jaime Brewise 5 years ago from Oregon

Collard greens aren't really my style but the bacon drippings might just resurrect this recipe :-)

Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 5 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Sounds good to me. Will have to see if we can get them here in Latvia.

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

gypsy, as kada94566 mentioned in a comment above, Swiss Chard, or Chard is in the same family, and has a similar flavor. So it should do well in this recipe. Thanks for the Comment.

feenix profile image

feenix 5 years ago

Hey, Don,

Quite frankly, I learned that you had written this hub about two weeks ago, but I avoided reading it because I knew that by doing so, I would end up missing my late mother -- who was a "Grand Master" when it came to preparing and cooking collard greens.

Well, I just read your hub and even though it did, in fact, cause me to think about my mama, it caused me to think about her in very happy and positive ways.

Your recipe is a terrific one and is almost identical the one my mama followed (that's no surprise because, after all, she was a Southerner).

Thank you for writing and publishing this post and I am printing it out, so I can refer to it the next time I cook some collard greens.

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 5 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

What a Kind remark, Feenix! One of the things that I have found, over time, is that when you go back to what some people call "the Basics" of cooking you invariably are dealing with Comfort Foods, you are also dealing with Memories. Memories of the past, Past times and passed people. People that you cherish and at least kept the "good memories" of.

When I eat some of these old favorites, I spend half the meal savoring the dish, and the other half savoring the memories.

Have a great day, my friend!

xanzacow profile image

xanzacow 4 years ago from North Myrtle Beach, SC

One of my favorites! I am the only one in my family who eats them but once in a while I treat myself. I use the bacon or "fat back" and a ham hock and cook and cook and cook. They are plentiful here in South Carolina and if you drive about 10 miles inland you can find farms offering them for $1 a bunch! I grew up in Martinsville, Va. We were practically neighbors! You are right, wrong side of the tracks! I do not miss it one tiny bit. Delicious hub!

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 4 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

xanzacow- Thanks so much for your kind words about my Hub. We make this Southern Standard often, when we can get some really fresh Greens to use.

And, that's exactly how you cook them. Slow and for a long time to get those flavors to mix into the fantastic dish this is.



vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

This 'soul food' is one of my favorites. Very popular in Tennessee. Your photos made my little mouth water. :) Up, more and sharing.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Being a damned Yankee (LOL) I have heard of these greens but never tried them. I love all veggies and this sounds really I'm going to give it a try. I'm sure I can find collard greens somewhere around here!

I take it you like to cook.....UP++tweeted

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

vocalcoach- You make this recipe and you will be ruined for life with any other "cooled green". LOL!


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 2 years ago from malang-indonesia

It sound delicious and healthy as well. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Voted up!

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

fpherj48- Glad you are interested in Collards. But, just in case they are rare up there on Lake Erie, you can use Turnip Greens or Mustard Greens, or mix all three together. Each has a distinct flavor, but I have had them mixed before, and it was really good.

And, Cook? Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah!


DreamingBoomer profile image

DreamingBoomer 2 years ago from Jackson, MS

very helpful Don, thank you! I tried using just cotton towels to cut down on paper waste. I see the error of my ways. Not worth the germs!

ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

Your hub image is to close to the real thing. I suddenly feels the urge to go and eat some greens.

Have you tried collard greens sautéed with fresh shrimps and bacon? Those are great too. Great hub. Thanks for sharing!

Voted up and useful.

Charmain English profile image

Charmain English 2 years ago from Northern Virginia

One of my favorite side dishes for the holidays!

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

ComfortB- Oh Yeah! A big CrockPot filled with fresh Collard Greens, Neck bones, and a few spices just can't turn out bad. I never thought of adding Shrimp though. I assume you add the shrimp just a few minutes before you serve the greens so they will cook but not get hard and rubbery?

Anyway, thanks for the read and the comment.


Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 2 years ago from Ruskin Florida Author

Charmain- Collard Greens are a great side dish, but is that the limit? Honestly, as a Kid, I remember eating this great food for the whole season that it was "coming in". Today, we can all go to the supermarkets and generally we can find Turnip Greens and Mustard Greens, which are both good also, but it is becoming harder and harder to find Collards, especially canned or frozen. Such a shame, because Collards have such a unique flavor of their own that I think everyone should try.

Anyway, thanks for the read and comment,


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 months ago from sunny Florida

Yes, please. My Momma used to make these when I was a little girl growing up in Virginia. These makes me long for those days.

Angels are headed your way this morning ps

Don Bobbitt profile image

Don Bobbitt 3 months ago from Ruskin Florida Author

pstraubie48 - Many of these old Southern standards are no longer cooked. It's not that they are hard, but it seems to be that many of these old recipes are considered to be "poor folks food".

Shame really!

Other than the fat from the neck bones, fresh Collards are often cheap seasonally and are a very nutritious vegetable to eat.

Thanks for the comment,


Express10 profile image

Express10 3 months ago from East Coast

This is a popular dish in the south) for the holidays as well. Great hub, recipe, and delicious looking photo & video.

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