Hooray for bacon! I guess I’m in love with this beast as it’s been featured in four dishes this past week.
These were the first collard greens I’ve ever made and I wouldn’t change a thing. The flavor is so deep and layered that we couldn’t get enough of them. I’m super excited that I made such a large batch as we will definitely be eating these greens tomorrow.
The dish took me longer to prep than I had originally estimated as the greens needed to first be wilted in order to fit into my crock pot. But man, was it worth that extra time. The smell permeating the house while these guys were cooking was amazing.
We served them alongside a friend’s chicken pot pie on a day when the wind chill made it feel like -20°F. If you are looking for a comforting side for a casual dinner party, look no further. You found it.
SLOW COOKED COLLARD GREENS with BACON in DUCK BROTH
serves 10 to 12 as a side
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, microplaned
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 lb (or more) thick cut bacon (I got mine from Fleischer’s Pasture-Raised Meats on 5th. It was peppered. If yours isn’t peppered, add 2 tsps freshly ground black pepper to the crock pot)
- grease from bacon
- 2 to 3 lbs collard greens, de-stemmed and cut into 2” pieces
- 7 cups duck broth (Also purchased from Fleischer’s Pasture-Raised Meats on 5th. They recently started carrying duck bone broth and whole duck.)
- sea salt
Wash and de-stem your collards. To easily and quickly cut into 2” pieces, layer the leaves on top of one another until you have a large stack. Hold the stack down and slice through the pile leaving a 2” gap between cuts. Continue making and cutting stacks of leaves until you’ve cut through all the greens. Set aside cut collards in a large bowl.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line two jelly roll pans with aluminum foil. Lay the pieces of duck bacon down flat side by side in one layer. Distribute the slices evenly amongst the pans. Cook for 10 minutes or until bacon is crisp, but not overdone. While bacon is cooking, chop up your onions. When bacon is cooked, remove from oven and drain the grease into your largest sauté pan. If you don’t have a large sauté pan, use a large pot. Set the bacon aside to cool.
Heat the grease over a medium flame. When hot, add the onions and 1/2 tsp sea salt and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. During these 5 minutes, microplane your garlic, deseed and dice your jalapeño, and chop up your bacon. Add these, the brown sugar, and vinegar to the tender onions and cook for two more minutes. Put this mix in the crock pot along with 6 cups of the duck stock.
In batches, sauté the collard greens in a few tablespoons of duck stock until they start to wilt (this is necessary in order to get them to fit into your crock pot), adding the wilted greens to the crockpot as you go. Add the remaining duck stock and some salt to taste (this depends upon how salty your other ingredients are. I ended up adding an additional tablespoon of sea salt as the dish was cooking). Stir, cover, and cook on low for 12 hours stirring every few hours. Taste along the way, adjusting the salt and pepper as need be.