Collard Greens

Collard Greens

1 ham hock, preferably not smoked

1 t. crushed red pepper flakes

4 pounds collard greens

1/4 C. cider vinegar

1 T. chopped onion

About 1 t. sugar

Salt and black or cayenne pepper

1/2 C. finely chopped mushrooms

1/8 t. cumin

1/4 t. dried, crumbled rosemary

Scrub the ham hock with a vegetable brush under cold running water. Place it in a pot with cold water to cover. Add the red pepper flakes, put on the lid, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Add more water if necessary.

During this time, wash collard greens and discard bruised or discolored leaves and thick stems. Tear the leaves into smaller pieces (or fold the leaves in half lengthwise, fold again and cut them until the pieces are small enough to eat easily).

When the hock is done, add the greens, vinegar, onion, sugar, salt and black (or cayenne) pepper and mushrooms. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cumin and rosemary. Continue simmering until tender, about 30 to 45 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Hot pepper sauce can be served on the side.

Serves 8 to 10.

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