Slow-Cooker Collard Greens with Ham Hocks Recipe
Cooking this classic Southern side in a slow cooker not only frees you up to prepare other dishes, it frees up valuable stovetop space, as well. You can also make this holiday favorite a week or two ahead and freeze in air-tight bags, or make Collard Greens a day or two in advance and refrigerate in the slow cooker insert (if you have room!). Let the insert stand at room temp for 30 minutes, then return to slow cooker to reheat. Do not reheat the cold insert straight from the fridge or it will crack. The convenience of prewashed and chopped greens, widely available in stores, makes this item ideal for cooking during the holidays. Washing and re-washing sandy greens can take a lot of time. Be careful as you are removing the ham hocks from the slow cooker before stirring in the greens. There are a lot of little tiny bone bits that are a part of the hocks, and you want to be sure and remove every single on before serving. Despite having to remove those bones, the ham hocks add tons of flavor to this slow-cooker version of collard greens. Collard greens are a Southern favorite regardless how they're prepared, but this recipe is the easiest way we've ever gone about cooking them. Cooking the greens and ham hocks on low for nine hours ensures that all the flavors meld together beautifully. This is a great side dish to put in the slow cooker in the morning and have ready at dinnertime.
Make It Ahead: You can make the collard greens up to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate them in the slow-cooker insert. Allow the insert to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before returning it to the slow cooker to reheat the greens. (Immediately heating a chilled insert could cause it to crack.)