Collard Greens with Bacon, lots of bacon, are a tasty summertime Southern side that pairs well with barbecued meats, baked beans, potato salad, Black Eyed Peas and coleslaw.
Bacon makes everything better. I thought about writing that, and nothing else. What more do you need? Alright, alright. I'll talk about these collard greens a bit more. Why are they good? The bacon, of course. I mean, look at this photo below. Sauteed onions and bacon. That is the base for this recipe. Need I say more?
My recipe calls for a lot of bacon. If you can't handle it, feel free to cut back a wee bit. I love the abundance of bacon with these collard greens, though. If you've never had collard greens, they are very bitter and require a lot of cooking in liquid (and bacon) to make them good. A touch of red pepper, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar round out this dish. Gimme a plate of pulled pork or barbecue ribs, gritty corn bread, a big pile of collard greens with bacon... and you'll have yourself one happy foodie.
Collard Greens with Bacon
- 16 ounces bacon (diced into small pieces)
- 1 large onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 bunch collard greens (washed and cut into 2 inch pieces (about 4-6 cups packed))
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- In dutch oven or large heavy bottomed pot, cook bacon pieces over medium heat until all fat is rendered. The bacon pieces will soften when cooked with the collard greens, so ensure the bacon is fully cooked so you don't end up with soggy bacon. Scoop bacon out and allow to drain on paper towel. Discard almost all oil, but leave about a tablespoon in the bottom of the pot.
- Saute onions in remaining tablespoon of bacon oil until tender and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add half of the cooked bacon (reserving the other half) and garlic, then saute 2 more minutes.
- Add greens and saute just until they start to wilt.
- Pour in chicken broth and add red pepper flakes, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. To serve, top with remaining crisp bacon.