Happy New Year from Farm Fresh North Carolina! Looking back, kudos to everyone who supported farmers and dedicated themselves to fresh food in 2011. And to those who bought my book, a special thanks! What a fantastic year I had promoting it — meeting farmers and chefs and farmers markets managers and customers from around the state.
As we Southerners know, today is the day we eat black-eyed peas and collards. Here’s a recipe from my book for the best collards I’ve ever tasted. Make them yourself or get to Lucky 32 in Greensboro or Cary by midnight to ensure a fabulous 2012!
To the collard averse from the recipe’s creator, Lucky 32 Southern Kitchen chef Jay Pierce: “These are different; you should try them.” He’s right. Jay’s flavorful treatment of this much-maligned green will turn you into a collard convert.
Southern Collard Greens
1 pound collard greens
1/4 pound pork fatback, rinsed well and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick
2 medium carrots, sliced (about 1 1/2 cup)
1 ham hock
5 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pick through the collards and discard any old and discolored leaves. Strip the leaves off the stems by grasping the base in one hand and pulling the leaves away from the stem with the other.
To clean the collards, fill the sink with cold water. Add the collards and stir vigorously with your hand; let the dirt fall to the bottom of the sink. Let the collards sit undisturbed for a minute or two. Carefully remove the collards from the water and place in a colander. Rinse out the sink and repeat the washing process 2 more times. After the third cleaning, carefully lift the collards out of the water, place in a salad spinner, and spin until dry.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the fatback and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until it renders some fat. Add the onions, carrots, and ham hock and cook until the onion is a dark golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Add the greens to the pan and cook, stirring, until wilted. Add the broth, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, thyme, and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for 45 minutes, until the greens are tender.