A few years ago, while on a work trip in San Francisco, I visited a really cool restaurant that used to be a place bootleggers would frequent to drink, gamble, and enjoy themselves back in the day. The food and atmosphere were great...but there was one thing this hip joint just didn't master: the collard greens. After taking a bite of the firm, bitter side of greens, I asked the server how the chef had prepared them. He replied "just a quick saute!" My Texan self was shocked that someone would do that, but I had plenty of chicken fried steak on my plate to keep me happy. I thanked him and asked for the dessert menu, then devoured a peach cobbler that was incredible.
That's when I realized I needed to cook them myself in order to have the recipe mastered before questioning a chef. Mr. Man had always been fond of turnip greens over others, and was a little reluctant to try my collards when I first approached him about my supper plans upon my return to Dallas. He asked where the hamhock was when I started making them without meat, and after a few vegetarian versions, I saw what he meant: in order to have great collard greens there should be a hint of smokiness. I hope this recipe makes you as happy as it does us!
2 large bunches of collard greens, stems removed and cut into 2 inch pieces after washing
1 large yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced