Collard greens are a staple in traditional African-American cuisine dating back centuries, and is still beloved today.
In honor of Juneteenth, I wanted to celebrate and highlight a food that is cherished in black culture and reflected the strength of my ancestors.
Collards were a leafy green given to enslaved Africans as scraps, along with other unwanted vegetables and cuts of meat such as oxtails, ham hocks and pig’s feet. It was also one of the select vegetables enslaved Africans were allowed to harvest.
Doing what black people do best, they made the best of what was given to them. Utilizing the cooking techniques of their Central and West African homelands, they cooked the collards down in a spicy broth, known affectionately as “pot likker,” with cuts of the pork like ham hock.
At almost any holiday and family function, you can guarantee collard greens are part of the food spread. It’s a fan favorite in black households that represents the struggle and resilience of our ancestors.
Instant Pot Collard Greens
Tender, flavorful collard greens ready in minutes!
- 1lb or 5 bunches of collard greens
- 3 smoked turkey wings or 1 large smoked turkey leg
- 1 cup onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 – 5 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning, to taste
- garlic powder, to taste
- Tear greens away from the hard stems, and discard of the stems.Take the long leaves, roll them up tear them in half of in thirds.
- Dump all greens into a sink, (a clean sink) filled with cold water, use your hands to push the collards down into the water and whirl them around to loosen and remove any dirt and grit. Do this 2-3 times until the water is clear.
- Turn your instant pot on sauté and once hot add in your smoked meat. Sear meat on all sides until browned and has rendered fat.
- Add in olive, onions, and garlic and stir. Let cook until onions are soft and garlic is fragrant.
- Add in collard greens followed by enough chicken broth to submerge the greens, about 4-5 cups. Add in all seasonings.
- Turn off the sauté mode and turn on the pressure cook mode. Place lid on the pot, lock it into place and set timer to 35 minutes on high pressure. Make sure the steam release nozzles is on sealing.
- Once complete, let it naturally release for 10 minutes and then turn the nozzle to venting to release all steam.
- Remove lid once all steam is released. Take out the smoked meat and place on a cutting board and use a fork to remove the meat from the bones and stir the meat back in to the pot of greens. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.