Recipe: Southern Braised Kale (with Savory Pot Liquor)
Braised kale, collards and other bitter greens are a staple of the Southern kitchen. Chef Iggy grew up in New Jersey but after moving to Virginia he kind of fell in love with Southern cuisine. Now he makes braised kale or collards every week when they're in season, usually serving them alongside grits.
Try this braised kale recipe on a traditional Southern "vegetable plate," a classic combination of cornbread, beans and greens. You can season the dishes with optional pork belly or bacon.
Don’t forget to drink the tangy braised kale pot liquor - the savory liquid that’s left after the braise. Southerners believe it’s a health tonic.
Southern Braised Kale with Onions
Serves 6-8 as a side dish for a meat course, 4-6 as a side on a vegetable plate.
1 pound of curly kale, washed well, ribbed and coarsely chopped (save ribs for compost!)
Half a large onion, julienned
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Heat a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic over medium heat until soft. Add kale and pepper flakes, toss kale until it starts to soften. Add chicken stock, vinegar and salt.
Simmer over low heat with lid on for 2 hours.
Spoon the braised kale on plate or in shallow bowls, alongside roasted chicken or ham. Save the juices! The vitamins and fermented vinegar in that pot liquor make it a tasty tonic that you can drink straight up.