Braised Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are a delectable option for the simplest weeknight meal or the grandest holiday table. Though they’re from the same plant family as collard greens, mustard greens are more peppery and the cooked leaves are more tender. (They also cook down a lot more, so it takes a lot of mustard greens to make a decent serving amount!) This recipe is generous with the liquid, because as it cooks it becomes something just as delicious as the greens themselves: pot likker. Smoked meats are often used for their flavor, but a small amount of liquid smoke keeps this recipe meat-free. Be sure to serve your greens in a bowl, so you can slurp up the resulting pot likker afterward.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound mustard greens (2 to 3 bunches)
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1large onion, finely chopped
- 4garlic cloves, minced
- 2cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- Salt and black pepper
- 1tablespoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco) or apple cider vinegar
- ½teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
Step 1Thoroughly wash the mustard greens: Rinse each leaf well, and then submerge under water in a large bowl or clean sink. Remove the leaves from the water and place in a colander. The grainy dirt that’s removed from the greens will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl. Rinse and refill the bowl, then repeat the process with the greens until there’s no remaining dirt. This normally takes 3 cycles.
Step 2Tear the mustard green leaves from the stems. Discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves and place them in a large bowl.
Step 3Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, for 1 minute.
Step 4Add the stock, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and the chopped mustard greens to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a hearty simmer. Cook, uncovered, until the greens are very tender and no longer bitter, 35 to 45 minutes.
Step 5Remove from the heat and stir in the hot sauce. Add the liquid smoke (if using): As the intensity of liquid smoke varies by brand, it’s best to add it gradually, tasting as you go, until it’s deliciously smoky but not overpowering. Season the mustard greens with more salt, if you like. Allow to cool slightly before serving. The greens are best the day they’re made.