This post is sponsored by Tabasco® and is the third of five dishes in the Tabasco 10 Ingredient Challenge. The views and opinions in the post are my own.
I think many people are scared when they see collard greens in the produce section. I guess this kind of makes sense because they are kind of unwieldy and I dare you to eat a piece raw. The greens are pretty bitter.
The truth is though that collard greens are one of the easier greens to cook because it’s almost impossible to overcook them. Typically, overcooking greens is easy to do and then they just disintegrate into nothing. Not a problem with these sturdy greens though.
You can cook and cook these guys and they really only get better. So, cast aside your fears of collard greens and try this recipe out. They are the perfect spicy fall side dish.
1) Add chopped bacon and a drizzle of oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet with a lid (no lid now though). Cook for 10 minutes until bacon slowly renders out fat and gets crispy.
2) Add in sliced onion and turn heat to medium. Cook until onion starts to soften, another five minutes or so. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
3) Roughly chop collard greens and add to skillet along with tomato sauce, drained and rinsed butter beans, water, and Tabasco.
4) Stir together, cover the pot, and let cook for 10 minutes. THen give the mixture a quick stir, recover, and cook for another 10 minutes.
Season the collard greens with salt and pepper and serve while hot!
Starting the Braise
As you can see, I didn’t do anything special to prep these greens. I just washed them well, chopped the large thick stems off, and then cut them into about 1/2-inch pieces. I sliced an onion also while I was chopping.
One thing that is almost always in any collard greens dish is some sort of cured pork. Traditionally, a ham hock is used for this, but I just used a few strips of bacon.
Start the bacon by chopping it into pieces and adding it to a cold pan over medium-low heat along with a tiny drizzle of oil. You want to cook the bacon on low so the fat slowly renders out of the bacon as it crisps up.
This was my bacon after about 10 minutes of cooking.
When the bacon is mostly browned and has rendered a bunch of fat out, add in the sliced onions and cook them for a few minutes until they start to soften.
The onions will release some liquid which you can use to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the pan.
Now for the fun part. Add in the chopped greens, drained beans, tomato sauce, and water.
I love all the colors in this dish.
A quick note on the beans: they are actually optional, but I love the extra flavor and texture they give to the dish.
Now for the hot sauce.
I used a little over a tablespoon of Tabasco for my dish and you could use more or less depending on how spicy you want it. Spicy goes really well with collard greens though so I recommend going heavy on it!
Cover this dish and turn the heat up to medium. Let the greens cook for about ten minutes, then give them a stir, re-cover the dish and cook for another ten minutes.
The greens will cook down a lot and all the flavors will be beautifully melded together.
Keep the greens on low and warm until you serve them.
This is the side dish to make if you’ve ever wanted to try collard greens. There isn’t a ton of ingredients and the ones that are used are pretty easy to find.
Has anyone every made collard greens like this? Leave a comment!