Saturday, November 22, 2014

How to Cook Greens in the Crock Pot--A Recipe from Aunt Jewel--Slow Cooker Turnip Greens with Potlikker

Aunt Jewel is one of the spunky main characters in my "Nameless, Texas" fiction series. She's "somewhere between 50 and ancient," she says, and she loves to cook. And she loves to cook things she grew in her own garden. For Thanksgiving, she often makes a mess of greens to go alongside all the other traditional foods. I asked her if she'd share her family recipe for Crock-Pot greens here, and she said "OK, as long as you make sure those folks do 'em right."

So folks--do 'em right, OK? I'd hate for Aunt Jewel to get after me with her rolling pin.

Aunt Jewel’s Slow Cooker Turnip Greens with Potlikker 

 Like any good Southern recipe, this healthy one pot meal doesn't include precise measurements.  You make enough for your family, and have extras for leftovers.  Here are the ingredients I use to make a "mess" of greens.  I use a Corning Ware slow cooker, 10-quart size.  If you want to use a smaller size,just use less greens.

Greens 'n cornbread! The way it's meant to be
Fill the cooker with one large bag of pre-washed greens from the store OR enough fresh greens from your garden—well washed, of course. Get those snails out of there! Don't worry if they won't all fit.  Cram them on in. The lid will hold them down, and the greens will shrink and cook down over the course of the day.

Add 3 cups of organic chicken broth, either canned/boxed from the store (I use organic) or homemade. This is not a precise measurement; if you don't have enough, substitute water.

Pour in a big splash of good olive oil, and some chopped garlic cloves—as many as you can stand.  If desired, add some leftover ham or a small ham bone, bacon or pork fatback cut into small pieces.  This is not required, but does make a traditional "mess" of greens and really adds a lot of flavor and protein to the dish without using a lot of meat.

Add enough water so that the greens are moist. Gently toss the greens so that they're coated with the liquids. 

Replace the lid on the cooker. Have a glass of wine. (optional)

Cook the greens on HIGH for the first four hours, stirring occasionally, then reduce the temperature to LOW and let them cook until they are done—the longer the better. Traditionally, this means that they are cooked down into a very concentrated dish, with lots of lovely potlikker on the bottom.  Serve the greens in a bowl with plenty of the potlikker and serve with homemade cornbread.  Drink the remaining potlikker—that's where all the vitamins are hiding, and it's good for you!


Aunt Jewel

No comments: