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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.
Southern Collard Greens
- Cook bacon: In a Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot, cook the bacon pieces over medium-high heat until all fat is rendered. As the bacon starts to cook and the fat starts to render and bubble, you may need to reduce the heat to prevent it from burning. Once the bacon is fully cooked and crispy, transfer the cooked bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate. Remove almost all of the fat from the pan, but leave about a tablespoon in the pan to cook the onions.
- Cook onions: Sauté the onions in the remaining tablespoon of bacon grease over medium-high heat until they are tender and slightly brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic: Add the garlic to the onions, then sauté another couple of minutes.
- Add collard greens: Add the prepared greens and sauté just until they start to wilt.
- Simmer: 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. About five minutes before they finish cooking, stir in most of the cooked bacon, reserving some to sprinkle on top when serving.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.