Greens In Potlikker



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. smoked ham hocks or hog jowls
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, slivered
  • 12 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 dried hot red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 imported bay leaf
  • 20 sprigs parsley
  • 3 lbs. greens (collards, kale, mustard or turnip), trimmed of tough stems and coarsely chopped
  • distilled white or cider vinegar, as accompaniment


In large saucepan, heat oil over moderate heat. Add ham hocks, onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Tie peppercorns, hot peppers, thyme, bay leaf and parsley in square of cheesecloth. Add to saucepan along with 4 quarts of water. Bring to boil, skim if necessary, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour. Add greens and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 1 hour more. Remove greens to bowl. Increase heat to high and boil until liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Return greens to pot and heat to warm through, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Here’s an updated version of the traditional boiled greens dish that is so popular throughout the South. Serve with chicken and corn bread or cornsticks for sopping up the potlikker or as a side dish with broiled or grilled pork chops.

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