Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe

Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe: Foolproof Instructions

Alton brown’s collard greens recipe is a flavorful and easy-to-follow dish. With just a few ingredients and simple instructions, you can create a delicious side dish that is sure to impress.

In this recipe, collard greens are cooked down with bacon, onions, and spices for a southern-style twist on a classic green vegetable. The combination of smoky bacon and savory seasonings enhances the natural flavors of the collard greens, creating a dish that is both comforting and satisfying.

Whether you’re a fan of southern cuisine or simply looking to add more greens to your diet, this recipe is a must-try.

Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe: Foolproof Instructions

Key Features And Benefits Of Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe: Foolproof Instructions

The Perfect Balance Of Flavors

  • Alton brown’s collard greens recipe is a culinary masterpiece that offers a perfect balance of flavors. Whether you’re a fan of greens or not, this recipe will definitely win you over with its delightful taste. Here’s why:
  • The combination of ingredients in alton brown’s collard greens recipe is carefully thought out to create a harmonious blend of flavors. Each component plays a crucial role in enhancing the overall taste of the dish. Let’s take a look at the key features:
  • Collard greens: The star of the show, collard greens bring a unique earthy flavor that pairs well with the other ingredients. They add a touch of bitterness and a satisfying chewiness to the dish.
  • Smoked ham hocks: These flavorful cuts of meat bring a smoky richness to the recipe. The ham hocks infuse the collard greens with their savory essence, providing depth and complexity to every bite.
  • Onion and garlic: These aromatics serve as the flavor foundation, imparting a sweet and savory undertone to the dish. They add a delightful punch to the collard greens, making them irresistibly delicious.
  • Apple cider vinegar: The tanginess of apple cider vinegar brightens up the overall flavor profile. It cuts through the richness of the dish and adds a subtle hint of sweetness, perfectly balancing the flavors.
  • Red pepper flakes: For those who enjoy a bit of heat, red pepper flakes are the secret ingredient that adds a spicy kick to the collard greens. They elevate the dish and give it a deliciously fiery edge.
  • Black pepper and salt: These simple seasonings are essential for bringing out the flavors of the other ingredients. They enhance the taste of the collard greens and ensure a well-seasoned dish.

Foolproof Cooking Techniques

  • Alton brown’s collard greens recipe not only offers a perfect balance of flavors but also provides foolproof cooking techniques. No matter your level of culinary expertise, you can successfully recreate this dish by following these simple instructions:
  • Prepare the collard greens by removing the thick stems and tearing the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Wash them thoroughly to remove any dirt or grit.
  • In a large pot, combine the collard greens, smoked ham hocks, onion, garlic, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes. Add enough water to cover the greens.
  • Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for about 2 hours. This slow cooking method allows the flavors to meld together and the collard greens to become tender.
  • After 2 hours, remove the ham hocks from the pot and shred the meat. Discard the bones and fat, then return the shredded meat to the pot. Stir well to distribute the meat evenly throughout the collard greens.
  • Season the dish with black pepper and salt to taste. Give it a final stir to ensure that all the flavors are well incorporated.
  • Serve the collard greens hot, ideally with cornbread or rice on the side. The delicious flavors and tender texture will leave you wanting more.

Attention To Detail And Precision

  • What sets alton brown’s collard greens recipe apart is the attention to detail and precision in every step. Alton brown is known for his meticulous approach to cooking, and this recipe is no exception. Here’s how he ensures that each element of the dish is perfectly executed:
  • The careful selection of ingredients: Alton brown chooses the freshest collard greens, smoked ham hocks, and other components to ensure the best quality and flavor. This attention to detail sets the foundation for a delicious dish.
  • Proper washing and preparation: Before cooking the collard greens, alton brown emphasizes the importance of thorough washing to remove any dirt or grit. This step ensures that the greens are clean and ready to be cooked.
  • Slow cooking for maximum flavor: By simmering the collard greens and other ingredients over low heat for an extended period, alton brown allows the flavors to develop and meld together. This slow cooking technique results in a rich and flavorful dish.
  • Shredding the ham hocks: Removing the meat from the ham hocks and shredding it before adding it back to the pot ensures that every bite of the collard greens contains tender and tasty morsels of meat.
  • Seasoning to taste: Alton brown encourages home cooks to season the collard greens with black pepper and salt to their liking. This attention to individual taste preferences ensures a personalized and satisfying dining experience.

Alton brown’s collard greens recipe is a foolproof masterpiece that guarantees a perfect balance of flavors and provides clear instructions. With a focus on attention to detail and precision, this recipe is sure to impress even the most discerning palates.

So why not give it a try and savor the deliciousness of alton brown’s collard greens?

Fresh Collard Greens: The Star Ingredient

If you’re looking for a healthy and flavorful dish to add to your recipe repertoire, look no further than alton brown’s collard greens recipe. Collard greens are a versatile leafy green vegetable that is packed with nutrients and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

In this blog post section, we will explore the key steps to selecting and preparing the best collard greens for alton brown’s recipe.

Selecting The Best Collard Greens

When it comes to choosing the perfect collard greens for your dish, there are a few key factors to keep in mind:

  • Look for fresh and vibrant leaves: Select collard greens that have vibrant green leaves without any yellowing or wilting. Fresh greens will ensure a delicious and tender end result.
  • Check for crisp stems: Take a close look at the stem of the greens. It should be firm and crisp, indicating freshness.
  • Opt for medium-sized leaves: While smaller leaves are often more tender, medium-sized leaves strike a good balance between tenderness and flavor.
  • Consider organic options: If possible, opt for organic collard greens to minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemicals.

Preparing The Greens For Cooking

Preparing collard greens for cooking is a crucial step to ensure the best texture and flavor. Follow these steps to properly prepare your collard greens:

  • Wash the greens thoroughly: Start by rinsing the collard greens under cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Gently pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel or use a salad spinner.
  • Remove the tough stems: The stems of collard greens can be tough and chewy, so it’s important to remove them. Simply fold the leaf in half lengthwise and cut along the stem to separate it from the leafy part.
  • Tear or chop the leaves: Depending on your preference, you can tear the leaves into smaller pieces or chop them into bite-sized strips. This will make it easier to cook and eat.
  • Blanche the greens (optional): If you prefer your collard greens to be more tender, you can blanch them before cooking. Blanching involves boiling the greens in salted water for a few minutes and then immediately submerging them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Now that you have selected the best collard greens and prepared them for cooking, you are ready to dive into alton brown’s delicious collard greens recipe. Stay tuned for the next section where we will explore the cooking process and additional ingredients that make this recipe truly special.

Remember, the freshness and proper preparation of collard greens are essential for achieving the best results in any recipe. Happy cooking!

Additional Ingredients And Flavor Enhancers

Smoked Ham Hocks Or Bacon

For a truly flavorful and delicious pot of collard greens, you can’t go wrong with the addition of smoked ham hocks or bacon. These savory ingredients add depth and richness to the dish, creating a mouthwatering flavor profile. Here are the key points to keep in mind:

  • Smoked ham hocks: These meaty pieces of pork add a smoky and robust flavor to the collard greens. As they simmer in the pot, the meat tenderizes and infuses the greens with its delicious taste. The bone also imparts a hearty richness to the dish.
  • Bacon: If you prefer a slightly saltier and more pronounced flavor, bacon is an excellent choice. The crispy bacon bits not only add a satisfying crunch but also release their salty goodness into the greens. The rendered bacon fat also contributes richness and depth to the overall flavor.
  • Amount: The amount of smoked ham hocks or bacon you use will depend on your personal preference. You can start with a small amount and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired level of smokiness and savoriness.

Onions And Garlic

Onions and garlic are essential ingredients in many savory dishes, and collard greens are no exception. These aromatic additions add complexity and depth to the flavor of the greens. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Onions: Whether you choose yellow, white, or red onions, they all add a sweet and slightly pungent flavor to the collard greens. They also provide a subtle background note that complements the other ingredients. When cooking, you can dice, slice, or chop the onions according to your preference.
  • Garlic: Garlic’s distinct flavor infuses the collard greens with a delicious aromatic essence. Its natural sweetness and slight sharpness complement the greens perfectly. Finely mince the garlic cloves to ensure even distribution throughout the dish. Be careful not to burn the garlic as it can become bitter.
  • Sautéing: To extract the maximum flavor from the onions and garlic, start by sautéing them in a bit of oil or butter until they turn fragrant and translucent. This step adds a caramelized depth of flavor to the collard greens.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a tangy and slightly sweet ingredient that adds a burst of brightness to the collard greens. Here’s why it’s a fantastic addition to your recipe:

  • Tanginess: The acidity of apple cider vinegar cuts through the richness of the greens, providing a refreshing and tangy contrast. It helps balance out the flavors and prevents the dish from becoming too heavy.
  • Sweetness: While apple cider vinegar is tangy, it also has a natural sweetness that complements the collard greens’ bitter undertones. The combination of sweet and bitter creates a well-rounded and harmonized taste.
  • Tenderizing: Apple cider vinegar also acts as a tenderizer, helping to break down the collard greens’ tough fibers. This results in a softer texture and makes them more enjoyable to eat.
  • Amount: Start with a small amount of apple cider vinegar, such as a tablespoon or two, and adjust to taste. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it back once it’s added.

Red Pepper Flakes For Heat

If you prefer a bit of spicy kick in your collard greens, red pepper flakes are a fantastic way to add heat. Here’s why you should consider incorporating them into your recipe:

  • Spiciness: Red pepper flakes add a pleasant and lingering heat to the collard greens, enhancing their overall flavor profile. They provide a subtle fiery kick that wakes up the taste buds.
  • Versatility: Red pepper flakes can be adjusted to your personal preference, allowing you to control the level of heat in the dish. Start with a small pinch and gradually increase until you reach the desired spiciness.
  • Flavor enhancement: The heat from red pepper flakes also amplifies and enhances the other flavors in the collard greens. It adds depth and complexity, making each bite more interesting.

Brown Sugar For Sweetness

If you crave a touch of sweetness to balance the collard greens’ bitterness, brown sugar is a wonderful ingredient to incorporate. Here’s how it enhances the flavor:

  • Balance: Brown sugar helps counteract the natural bitterness of the collard greens, creating a more well-balanced and enjoyable dish. The sweetness softens any sharp edges, harmonizing the flavors.
  • Caramelization: When brown sugar melts and caramelizes, it adds depth and complexity to the collard greens. It creates a rich, slightly smoky, and unique flavor that elevates the dish.
  • Amount: The amount of brown sugar can vary depending on personal taste preferences and the level of bitterness in the greens. Begin with a small amount, such as a teaspoon, and adjust as needed.

Now that you understand the importance of each additional ingredient and flavor enhancer, you can create a tantalizing pot of alton brown collard greens that will impress your taste buds and leave you craving more.

Preparing The Ham Hocks Or Bacon

When it comes to making alton brown’s collard greens recipe, one of the key components is preparing the ham hocks or bacon. These savory meats add a depth of flavor and richness to the greens that is simply irresistible. If you’re unsure about how to best prepare the ham hocks or bacon for this recipe, keep reading for some helpful tips and techniques.

Choosing The Right Cut Of Meat

  • Opt for smoked ham hocks or thick-cut bacon: Both options will infuse the collard greens with a smoky, salty essence that enhances the overall taste.
  • Look for meat with good marbling: The fat in the ham hocks or bacon will render down during cooking, releasing its flavors into the dish.
  • Consider the quantity of meat: The amount of ham hocks or bacon you use depends on personal preference. If you enjoy a stronger meaty flavor, opt for more; if you prefer a milder taste, use less.
  • Keep an eye on the freshness: Make sure the ham hocks or bacon are fresh and not past their expiration date to ensure optimal taste and safety.

Cooking The Meat To Perfection

  • Remove excess fat: Trim any excess fat from the ham hocks or bacon to prevent the dish from becoming overly greasy.
  • Simmer the meat: Place the ham hocks or bacon in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Allow the meat to slowly cook until tender and flavorful.
  • Skim the surface: While simmering, a foam may form on the surface of the water. Use a slotted spoon or ladle to skim off any impurities to ensure a cleaner and clearer broth.
  • Slow and low is the way to go: Cooking the meat on a low heat for an extended period allows the flavors to develop and intensify. Aim for at least 1-2 hours of simmering, or until the ham hocks are fall-off-the-bone tender.
  • Consider additional seasonings: While the meat is cooking, you can enhance its flavor by adding aromatics such as onions, garlic, or bay leaves to the pot. These complementary ingredients will further elevate the taste of the collard greens.

When it comes to preparing the ham hocks or bacon for your alton brown collard greens recipe, selecting the right cut of meat and cooking it to perfection are essential. Choosing smoked ham hocks or thick-cut bacon and ensuring the meat is tender and flavorful will contribute to a delicious final dish.

Remember to experiment with additional seasonings to personalize the flavors to your liking.

Preparing The Collard Greens

Cleaning And Removing The Stems

Collard greens are a versatile and nutrient-packed leafy green vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. However, before you start cooking with them, it’s important to properly clean and remove the stems to ensure a delicious and tender end result.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Start by filling a large basin or sink with cool water. Submerge the collard greens and gently swish them around to loosen any dirt or debris.
  • Remove the greens from the water and give them a thorough rinse under cool running water. This will help remove any remaining dirt and ensure that they are completely clean.
  • Next, lay the collard greens on a cutting board and carefully trim off the tough stems. The stems can be tough and fibrous, so it’s best to remove them to ensure a more enjoyable eating experience.
  • To remove the stems, simply fold each collard green leaf in half lengthwise and use a sharp knife to make a straight cut along the side of the stem. Discard the stems and set the leaves aside.
  • Once the stems are removed, you can proceed with chopping the collard greens into bite-sized pieces, which we will discuss in the next section.

By taking the time to properly clean and remove the stems from your collard greens, you can ensure that your final dish will be flavorful, tender, and free from any unwanted debris. Now that we’ve tackled the cleaning process, let’s move on to the next step: chopping the greens into bite-sized pieces.

Cooking The Collard Greens

Collard greens are a southern staple that brings a hearty and nutritious element to any meal. Alton brown’s collard greens recipe takes this traditional dish to a whole new level with his unique cooking techniques and flavor combinations. Let’s dive into the process of cooking collard greens the alton brown way.

Sautéing The Onions And Garlic For Flavor

  • Begin by sautéing a chopped onion and some minced garlic in a large pot with a splash of olive oil.
  • Cook until the onions are translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • This step adds a flavorful base to the collard greens and sets the stage for a delicious and aromatic dish.

Adding The Collard Greens And Cooking Them Down

  • Once the onions and garlic are nicely sautéed, it’s time to add the collard greens.
  • Wash the collards thoroughly, remove the tough stems, and roughly chop the leaves.
  • Add the collard greens to the pot and stir until they start to wilt.
  • Cover the pot and let the greens cook down for about 10 minutes, allowing them to soften and absorb the flavors of the sautéed onions and garlic.

Perfectly Timing The Cooking Process To Retain Texture And Color

  • To maintain the vibrant green color and texture of the collard greens, it’s essential to time the cooking process carefully.
  • Overcooking can result in mushy and dull greens. Therefore, it’s recommended to cook them just until they are tender but still retain a slight bite.
  • Keep a close eye on the greens as they cook and taste them to determine when they have reached the desired texture.

Balancing The Flavors With Vinegar, Sugar, And Red Pepper Flakes

  • Alton brown’s collard greens recipe incorporates the perfect blend of flavors by adding vinegar, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
  • The vinegar brings a tangy punch, the sugar balances the bitterness, and the red pepper flakes add a hint of heat.
  • Adjust the amounts of these ingredients based on your personal taste preferences, ensuring a harmonious balance between tartness, sweetness, and spiciness.

Now that you know the steps alton brown follows to cook his delicious collard greens, you can recreate this mouthwatering dish in your own kitchen. Follow his techniques for sautéing the onions and garlic, cooking down the collard greens, timing the process for perfect texture and color, and achieving a well-balanced flavor profile.

Enjoy the traditional southern goodness with a touch of alton brown’s culinary expertise!

Adjusting Flavors To Suit Your Taste

If you’re someone who likes to have control over the flavors in your dishes, then you’ll love the versatility of alton brown’s collard greens recipe. By making a few simple adjustments to the recipe, you can customize it to suit your taste preferences.

Whether you prefer a little extra heat or a touch of sweetness, here are some tips to help you adjust the flavors just the way you like them.

Adding More Heat Or Sweetness

If you like your collard greens with a little extra kick or a hint of sweetness, here are some ways you can adjust the recipe:

  • Spice it up:
  • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to the cooking liquid for a spicy kick.
  • Incorporate a chopped jalapeno or some hot sauce to bring the heat to another level.
  • Sweeten the deal:
  • For a touch of sweetness, add a tablespoon of brown sugar or maple syrup to the dish.
  • Alternatively, you can use a little honey or molasses for a deeper, richer sweetness.

Experimenting With Different Ingredient Ratios

Another way to make the collard greens recipe your own is by experimenting with the ratios of the ingredients. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Adjust the greens:
  • If you prefer your greens more tender, reduce the cooking time or simmer them for longer if you like them softer.
  • Feel free to mix and match different leafy greens like kale or spinach with the collard greens for added variety and flavor.
  • Play with the seasonings:
  • Increase or decrease the amount of garlic, onion, or spices like paprika and cumin to suit your taste.
  • Consider adding herbs like thyme or oregano for a fresh, aromatic twist.

Remember, cooking is all about personal preference, so don’t be afraid to play around with the recipe until it’s just right for you. Whether you like your collard greens spicy, sweet, or with a unique combination of flavors, these adjustments will help you create a dish that you’ll absolutely love.

So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen—it’s time to make alton brown’s collard greens recipe your own!

Storage And Reheating

Properly Storing Leftovers

Once you’ve made a delicious batch of alton brown collard greens, you may find yourself with some leftovers. Properly storing them will ensure that you can enjoy them for days to come. Here are some tips for storing your collard greens:

  • Transfer the collard greens to an airtight container: To maintain freshness and prevent your collard greens from drying out, transfer them to an airtight container. Make sure the container is clean and dry before adding the greens.
  • Refrigerate promptly: After cooking, allow the collard greens to cool down for a few minutes before placing them in the refrigerator. This helps to avoid condensation build-up, which can lead to spoilage.
  • Label and date: To keep track of how long your collard greens have been stored, label the container with the date you cooked them. This will help ensure that you consume them within a safe timeframe.
  • Store in the refrigerator: Place the container of collard greens in the refrigerator and make sure the temperature is set below 40°f (4°c). Collard greens can remain fresh for up to 3-5 days when stored properly.

Reheating Without Losing Flavor Or Texture

When it’s time to enjoy your leftover alton brown collard greens, reheating them properly will ensure they taste just as delicious as the day you made them. Here are some tips for reheating your collard greens while preserving their flavor and texture:

  • Stovetop method: For the best results, reheat your collard greens on the stovetop. Place them in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add a splash of water or broth to prevent them from drying out. Stir occasionally until heated through.
  • Microwave method: If you’re short on time, you can also use the microwave to reheat your collard greens. Transfer them to a microwave-safe dish and cover with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until heated through.
  • Avoid overcooking: To prevent your collard greens from becoming mushy or losing their texture, be mindful of the reheating time. Aim for just long enough to heat them through without overcooking.
  • Add moisture if needed: If your collard greens appear dry after reheating, you can add a little moisture to revive them. Consider adding a small amount of water or broth and gently stirring to incorporate.
  • Season to taste: Before serving, taste your reheated collard greens and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You may want to add a sprinkle of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice to enhance the flavors.

By following these storage and reheating tips, you can enjoy your alton brown collard greens beyond their initial serving, without compromising on flavor or texture. So go ahead and savor every bite of this delicious dish, even as leftovers!

Conclusion: Enjoying Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe: Foolproof Instructions

The Perfect Side Dish For Any Occasion

With alton brown collard greens recipe, you can truly impress your guests with a foolproof side dish that is sure to elevate any meal. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking to add some excitement to your family’s dinner routine, these collard greens are the perfect addition.

Follow alton brown’s tried and tested recipe for a dish that is both delicious and easy to prepare.

Foolproof Instructions

Here are the foolproof instructions to prepare alton brown collard greens:

  • Start by gathering all the necessary ingredients: Collard greens, bacon, onions, garlic, chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt.
  • Rinse the collard greens thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Remove the tough stems and chop the greens into bite-sized pieces.
  • In a large pot, cook the bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside.
  • In the same pot, add the onions and garlic. Sauté them until they become fragrant and translucent.
  • Add the collard greens to the pot and stir them well to coat them with the onion and garlic mixture.
  • Pour in the chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, red pepper flakes, and salt. Stir everything together to combine the flavors.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer and cover the pot. Let the collard greens cook for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until they reach your desired tenderness.
  • Once the collard greens are cooked, crumble the reserved bacon and sprinkle it on top as a garnish.
  • Serve the alton brown collard greens hot as a flavorful and nutritious side dish that will complement any main course.

These foolproof instructions ensure that your collard greens turn out perfectly cooked every time. The combination of flavors from the bacon, onions, and garlic, along with the tanginess from the apple cider vinegar, creates a harmonious blend that will have your guests asking for seconds.

So why wait? Try alton brown collard greens recipe today and enjoy a side dish that adds a burst of flavor to any occasion. Serve it as a side for a hearty dinner, or include it in your holiday feast.

With these foolproof instructions, you can have confidence in creating a dish that is guaranteed to impress.

Frequently Asked Questions On Alton Brown Collard Greens Recipe

How Do You Cook Alton Brown Collard Greens?

To cook alton brown collard greens, start by washing the greens thoroughly and removing the stems. Heat up a pot with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Add the greens and cook until wilted. Next, add chicken broth and cook until tender.

Season with salt, pepper, and apple cider vinegar for extra flavor.

Are Collard Greens Healthy?

Yes, collard greens are packed with nutrients and offer numerous health benefits. They are rich in vitamins a, c, and k, as well as fiber and antioxidants. Collard greens can help improve digestion, support cardiovascular health, boost immunity, and promote healthy skin.

Can You Freeze Collard Greens?

Yes, collard greens can be frozen for future use. Simply blanch the greens in boiling water for a few minutes, then transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain off excess water and pack the greens into airtight containers or freezer bags.

Label and date before placing in the freezer.


Alton brown’s collard greens recipe is a game-changer for anyone looking to add a burst of flavor to their greens. By infusing the dish with smoky bacon, tangy vinegar, and a touch of sweetness, brown has created a truly unique and delicious version of this traditional southern favorite.

The use of apple cider vinegar not only adds a pleasant tang, but also gives the greens a tender texture. The addition of red pepper flakes brings just the right amount of heat, while the bacon provides a savory richness that perfectly complements the earthy taste of the collard greens.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and guarantees a mouthwatering result every time. So why not give alton brown’s collard greens recipe a try and elevate your side dish game to a whole new level?

Your taste buds will thank you!

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