Ham Hocks and Greens


  • 8 smoked or fresh ham hocks
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 4 carrots sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ bunch parsley sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds kale, collards, mustard greens, Swiss chard, or a combination, tough stems removed, washed well, and cut crosswise into 3- to 4-inch ribbons


  1. Place ham hocks in a large soup pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Skim off any scum that rises to the top.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients except the greens; simmer, uncovered, skimming as needed, for 1 hour.
  3. Add the greens to the pot and simmer, uncovered, until the greens and ham hocks are very tender, 1½ to 2 hours.
  4. Pour off most of the cooking liquid (save for another use, if desired) leaving enough to keep the greens and meat moistened. Season to taste with cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve in individual bowls, placing one or two ham hocks in each bowl of greens, moisten with cooking liquid and serve immediately. Pass hot pepper sauce and cider vinegar on the side.


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