Braden Family Cookbook

Chuck Braden

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HOCKS COLLARDS & PEAS                           Southern traditional


This is a real ”comfort food” item!  We now make this as our “traditional” dose of black eyed peas on New Years Day.  You will be surprised how much the collard greens reduce after you take out the stems and then cook them.  The 3# is a minimum, you could even got to 4# if you want to.  In the South this is a reasonable dish to make.  In Hawaii where greens are considered to be a luxury item, this dish is one of the more expensive ones you will make in a week


1 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 smoked ham hocks
2 quarts low-sodium chicken stock (or it’ll be really salty)
3# collard greens
4 cups (about 20 oz. fresh or frozen black eyed peas)
1 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
½ tsp. Red pepper flakes (chopped a little)
1 tsp. Fresh thyme, chopped
2 tsp. Brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Cider vinegar

Heat butter in a large pot, about 2 gallon size.  Add garlic, onion and ham hocks and saute for a few minutes.  Cover with chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours until meat is falling off bones of hocks.

Meanwhile, wash the greens thoroughly and remove the thick parts of the stems.  Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add just enough salt to make it taste like sea water.  Add greens, cover and cook for five minutes.

Rinse greens with cold water; squeeze out excess water and roughly chop.  Set aside.

When ham hocks are tender, add black eyed peas, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme, chopped collards, brown sugar, and vinegar.

Continue until peas are tender (about 30 minutes).  Remove hocks and shred meat from bones, discarding fat & bones.  Stir the shredded meat back into the bean-collard mixture.  Serve in heated bowls.

Serves 6 - 8  as a single serving entree.  You will eat more than one serving of this!  We make this recipe at home for the two of us and get 2 dinners and one take-to-work lunch out of it.

Needs good bread or cornbread to sop up some of the juices.  Wine: Cabernet, possibly a Merlot, Pinot Noir is a possibility.  Can be a little salty from the hocks so you need a wine that can stand up to the salt.