Quick-Braised Greens and Beans With Bacon
These stewed greens develop deep flavor thanks to a quick onion-garlic broth and bacon, used two ways. Sliced bacon is cooked until tender, blending in but imparting its smoky, porky essence, while crisp bacon morsels are sprinkled on top for a salty, crunchy hit. This 30-minute dish is great spooned over rice or polenta, or alongside buttery cornbread for a hearty weeknight meal, but you could also top it with an egg to bring it into brunch territory.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 2bunches dark and sturdy leafy greens, like collards, kale or mustard greens (about 1 pound)
- 4bacon slices
- 1large red onion (about 1 pound), finely chopped
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 6garlic cloves, sliced
- 1teaspoon dried sage
- 1cup chicken or vegetable stock
- 2(15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1teaspoon hot sauce, plus more for serving
Step 1Prepare the greens: Cut the tough stems out of the greens and discard. Stack the leaves, roll tightly crosswise and slice into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with cold water and swish to remove grit. Transfer greens to a colander, cleaning them a second time if the water remaining in the bowl is visibly dirty.
Step 2Cook 2 bacon slices in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Meanwhile, cut the remaining 2 bacon slices crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
Step 3Add the 1/4-inch bacon strips to the hot bacon fat and cook, stirring, until the fat in the bacon strips starts to render, about 1 minute. Add the onion and a pinch each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until golden brown around the edges, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Step 4Stir in the stock, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, 5 minutes.
Step 5Increase the heat to medium, add the greens, season with salt and pepper and stir until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Cover and cook until tender with a little bite, about 3 minutes.
Step 6Uncover and add the beans and hot sauce. Stir until the beans are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide among serving dishes and crumble the cooked bacon slices on top. Serve with more hot sauce.