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Quick-Braised Collard Greens Recipe

Today I’m bringing you one of my new favorite recipes – a quick braised collard greens recipe. For years I really didn’t think I liked collard greens all that much. Then I finally realized why they weren’t appealing to me – I didn’t like their flavor after they’d been over-cooked for what felt like forever and a day. The flavor of the greens was too strong and pungent for me to enjoy. Recently I’ve figured out a better way for my taste buds to enjoy collard greens, and I’m now smitten with them.

Quick Braised Collard Greens Recipe

BUT (there’s always a but) this way of cooking greens might be a little controversial. Why? Well for one, the greens cook in less than 15 minutes so they are still fresh and have some “bite” to them. Secondly, this method for cooking greens doesn’t create the coveted potlikker that greens lovers typically like best with their collards. For those of you not familiar with potlikker, it’s the liquid that comes off of cooked greens that acts kind of like a sauce for the rest of the stuff on your plate. Potlikker comes from cooking the greens long and slow with extra water. It’s a highly flavorful liquid and is thought to have restorative powers for those who consume it.

Quick Braised Collard Greens Recipe

And yes, I do like potlikker. But I prefer my collard greens to be lightly cooked.The method I use is more a combination of steaming and braising than just braising alone. Braising typically involves water of some type, and the only water I use here is what sweats out from the greens. How I get away with calling this braising is that it’s done in a covered pot where the heat generated from the liquid helps to cook the greens further than just the heat provided by the heat source, in this case the stovetop flame. I call this a quick braise because it’s done it 15 minutes, as I said up top. It’s not that the dish takes only 15 minutes to cook, it’s that it’s only 15 minutes left to go from when you stir the greens into the sausage and onion mixture and put the lid on the pot.

Quick Braised Collard Greens Recipe

Speaking of sausage, I’ve used my favorite sausage in this dish – smoked chaurice sausage. No that’s not chorizo misspelled. Chaurice is its own type of sausage. It’s pork based of course and is a classic Creole sausage with lots of red pepper and spices. I like to get mine from Poche’s in Breaux Bridge. Their version is not spicy but is deliciously seasoned with red pepper, garlic, onion, and lots of other tasty secret stuff. You will probably have a hard time, if not an impossible time, finding it outside of South Louisiana, but it’s worth ordering if you’re into that type of stuff. Or you can simply substitute a robust-flavored smoked sausage if you’d like. It’s all about doing what works for you. But trust me, the chaurice is worth the effort. Scout’s honor.

Quick Braised Collard Greens Recipe

One thing to note about cooking greens. When you have all those collard greens chopped up, it’s going to seem like a massive amount of food. Trust me, it is not. Once the greens start cooking down with the heat, you’ll be surprised how much they shrink. So do yourself a good favor and just add the greens to the pot slowly, like four cups at a time. Even when you start stirring like that, you’ll notice how quickly they lose mass and be amazed at how much of the greens you can actually put into a standard sized pot.

Quick Braised Collard Greens Recipe

What about you? How do you like your collards cooked? Low and slow with tons of potlikker or quick cooked like I’ve done here? Let me know!

Yield: 4 meal, 6 sides

Quick-Braised Collard Greens Recipe

This quick-braised collard greens recipe is the perfect side for pork, chicken or fried fish. Also makes for a tasty meal over rice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (safflower, olive, grape seed)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 link of smoked sausage (preferably chaurice sausage), finely diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds collard greens, ribs removed, leaves sliced 1/4” thick
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt

Method:

  1. In a large pot that you have a lid for, heat the neutral oil over medium high heat.
  2. Add the onions, sausage, salt and cayenne pepper and cook for 10-12 minutes, until onions are wilted and sausage is a little brown. Stir often to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the collards in three batches, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Once all the collards are added and stirred in, add the garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt. Stir again thoroughly to ensure everything’s mixed well.
  5. Turn down the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. After covering the pot, cook for a total of 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes to make sure the collards cook evenly.
  6. Once done, serve over rice for a meal or as a side item with baked chicken, roasted pork or fish with pecan meunière sauce.

Prep:20 min

Cook:30 min

Total:50 min

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