Tried and true southern greens are truly something amazing! Smoked neck bones offer an amazing smoky flavor; and all of the seasonings and spices kick the flavors into a whole different dimension. The perfect addition to your Sunday dinner.
Serve these southern greens with this Buttermilk Chicken Fried Chicken, this Extra Crispy Un-Fried Chicken, or this Amazing Brown Gravy Pot Roast. Another great dish to serve with the greens are these Perfectly Seasoned Fried Pork Chops!
Let’s face it y’all, you cannot speak soul food without including greens in the mix! Greens are a true Southern staple. They are very inexpensive to make, and are definitely versatile. Dress em’ up however you like, add as little or as much seasoning, saute or boil them… they’re still going to be amazing!
So basically, after many years of shadowing my elders in the kitchen, I mastered and perfected my Southern Greens. I swear, the recipe for these greens have been tried, tested, and tasted by SO MANY friends, family members, and strangers! It is an amazing dish to cook-up for potlucks, get together, or our favorite- Sunday Dinner!
We have a tradition over here that we like to call “Big Plate Sunday.” It came about because my Mother-in-Love likes to cook-up big meals on Sunday’s. When big meals are made, you already know the family is going to congregate, eat, laugh, and love on one another.
These Tried and True Southern Greens are not as intimidating as one may think!
They’re actually quite simple to make. However, the key to good greens is the “low and slow” method, and the seasonings. I have heard of people that cook their greens in the slow cooker, which is an amazing idea! Seasoning is definitely a must for this recipe. So you will see that there seems to be an abundance of it, but that is intentional!
If greens are not cleaned, cooked, and seasoned properly, they will have a very “earthy” and bitter flavor. Take note of the addition of sugar, cinnamon, and butter. Those seasonings are added to tame that bitter flavor. Just go with it, I promise it adds a whole different dimension and depth to the greens!
What kind of greens are used for this recipe:
For this particular recipe we used collard and mustard greens. One thing to remember though, there are several types of greens that can be used, which include:
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
Yes, Kale! I have heard of people adding kale to their greens. Now, that’s not a traditional green used in this Southern recipe, but I’m sure it’s great! Since we added actual diced turnips to ours, we went with mustard greens instead of turnip greens.
How exactly are these Tried and True Southern Greens made?
- First and foremost Rinse those ham-hocks or neck-bones thoroughly! They have a waxy, greasy film that covers them. Once they’re thoroughly cleaned, place them in a large stock pot and put just enough water to cover them. Boil on medium high for 1-2 hours, skimming any fat from the water when needed.
An alternative method to boiling on the stove:
- Use your InstantPot or pressure cooker! I’ve used mine before, and it cuts the cooking time in half.
- While meat is cooking, cut the stalks out of greens, leaving only the green leafy part. Wash the greens thoroughly with luke warm water. Roll the greens up and slice them about 1/2 an inch thick. Place the chopped greens in a large bowl, and cover with water to soak out any remaining debris.
If your store has the precut packaged greens available GET THEM!
- These things haven’t always been around, but they’re a life saver now that they are.
Even if you’re using the pre-packages greens though, you should still wash them off thoroughly. Rinse them under water for a couple minutes in a colander, then I transfer them to a large bowl to soak in water. This helps get off any remaining debris. After they soak, rinse them one more time. I promise you can NEVER over clean your vegetables!
- Peel your turnip, just taking the outer skin layer off. Dice it up in little pieces (refer you the picture for size reference.
Chop and dice all of the additional vegetables, and set them to the side.
- Once the meat is tender (fall off of the bone), remove it from the water and set aside to cool. Skim any additional fat that may be remaining on top of the water.
- Place all of the greens and veggies into the pot with the water the meat cooked in. You may need to add more water as the greens cook, just eyeball them- I like to have enough liquid that the greens are swimming!
- Once meat has cooled, take it off the bones and add it back to the pot. Add seasoning, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring periodically. The greens will shrink down and become fork tender.
- Now is a great time to add your pads of butter! YES BUTTER! Taste the greens to ensure they are flavored to your liking. Do not be afraid to add more seasoning. Remember, this is a large pot of greens, with a lot of water, so adding seasoning is very necessary!
Use pre-shredded and bagged greens if available at your store. I still recommend washing the greens thoroughly prior to adding to the pot If omitting meat, simply add veggies & seasoning to stock pot, cover with water and simmer. This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.
Seasoning (to taste):
Serving Size: 6 people
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 119Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 2359mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 6g
Use pre-shredded and bagged greens if available at your store. I still recommend washing the greens thoroughly prior to adding to the pot
If omitting meat, simply add veggies & seasoning to stock pot, cover with water and simmer.
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.