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Braised Winter Greens with Bacon and Onion

For best results, be sure your greens are fully cooked and tender in step 1 before moving on to step 2.

 

6 slices bacon , cut into 1/4-inch-wide pieces
2 tablespoons bacon fat
1 medium red onion , halved and sliced pole to pole into 1/4-inch slices
5 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 5 teaspoons)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 pounds kale or collard greens, ribs removed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces and rinsed (about 24 loosely packed cups; see related step-by-step below)
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water

Table salt
3–4 teaspoons cider vinegar

Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut 6 slices bacon into ¼-inch-wide pieces and cook over medium heat in Dutch oven until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and discard all but 2 tablespoons fat. Heat the 2 tablespoons of fat over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add half of greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Add remaining greens, broth, water, and ¼ teaspoon salt; quickly cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 25 to 35 minutes for kale and 35 to 45 minutes for collards.

  2. 2. Remove lid and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of pot will be almost dry and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes. Remove pot from heat; stir in 3-4 teaspoons cider vinegar and remaining tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, and remaining teaspoon cider vinegar. Stir reserved bacon into greens and serve.

Technique

Removing the Stem from Greens When prepping hearty greens like collards or kale for our Braised Winter Greens, cutting out the central rib from each leaf individually can be tedious and time-consuming. Here’s a way to speed up the process.

1. STACK three or four leaves on top of each other, large to small, aligning their central ribs.

2. FOLD the stack of greens in half along the central rib.

3. TRIM the central rib using one knife stroke. Repeat with the remaining leaves.

4. CHOP the leaves crosswise into 3-inch pieces.