This recipe yields the best tasting greens I have ever eaten! I have yet to have a batch of bitter greens when cooked this way. This recipe has the potential to change the minds of green-haters and may even bring about a cute southern accent. Blanching the greens before adding to the slow cooker helps remove the natural bitterness. I usually make it with kale and beet greens but other greens work as well. The greens pair well with pilsner or an off-dry riesling, especially if you use the balsamic vinegar.
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 bunch beet leaves (collards, mustard, turnip) or 1 bunch other greens (collards, mustard, turnip)
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, minced (discard seeds for less heat)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 cup cubed ham (I used prepackage mini cubes)
- 3 slices bacon
- 2 1⁄2 cups water (more if needed)
- salt and pepper
- balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Tear greens into large pieces and discard the thick vein. Add greens to a pot of boiling salted water (I use kosher salt). Let boil for about 6 minutes. Drain and Rinse.
- While the greens are boiling, preheat a heavy skillet with olive oil, add onion and garlic; sauté until onions are lightly brown, add minced jalapeno peppers and cook for an additional minute or two.
- Put the sautéed onions in the slow-cooker then add the drained greens, ham, bacon, crushed red pepper and water.
- Cook on high for 4 hours or until greens are tender.
- Serve with balsamic vinegar, optional.
NcMystery; This is the way my family has been doing it since I was in three corner pants.(I'll be 80 in April). THE ONLY difference is that I cook the bacon and add the onions etc. to the bacon fat. Just an added flavor to relish. Where I come from pork rules and the only thing we never used was the oink. Simply because we couldn't catch it. Cap'n Jack
Yehaw! We loved these! The dinner bell was a ringin' and the people came a runnin! I followed this exactly, and had a ham hock and threw that in as well. Wow! These are amazing, and I don't know about bitter greens, I've never had them, but I can tell you these are as smooth as a load of jello on a greased dish. It's great and beneficial to cook these low and slow, so all the special ingredients combine and marry in a perfect ceremony. Perfection on a country plate!
I'm a veggie, so subbed a bit of sesame oil for the bacon---nice nutty flavor!