Good Eats

A New Take on Collard Greens

By Jed PortmanDecember 28, 2012

Seviche, in Louisville, Kentucky, bills itself as “A Latin Restaurant.” It’s the rare Latin joint, though, that offers trotter empanadas and fish wrapped in country ham. Chef Anthony Lamas, born and raised in California, moved to Louisville two decades ago and has earned critical acclaim in the years since with dishes that bridge the divide between Latin America and the Mid-South. “You’ll see collards and grits here,” he says, “but they’ll have Manchego cheese in them, or chiles.”

This time of year, Southern farmers and gardeners are ankle-deep in greens. Many of us will be cooking up a batch come January 1, a tradition said to bring prosperity in the new year. “In Latin America, greens are served everywhere,” Lamas says. He brings Mexico and Kentucky a little closer together by seasoning his greens with smoky chipotle peppers and Negra Modelo beer. Surprise your family and friends with this twist on a Southern tradition that's guaranteed to snap them out of their morning-after haze.

Photo: Jesse Hendrix-Inman

Beer and Chipotle–Braised Collard Greens
If you can't find collards, feel free to substitute kale, pictured above, or other greens.

1 Spanish yellow onion, diced
1 cup Benton's bacon or other high-quality smoked bacon, diced
1 ham hock
¼ cup chopped garlic
1 tbsp. crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. cracked pepper
¼ cup puréed chipotle chile in adobo
4 bottles Negra Modelo or other dark beer
1 lb. picked and cleaned collards, stems removed
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cups red wine vinegar
4 cups chicken stock
6 bay leaves

Sauté bacon and onions with ham hock until golden. Add garlic, crushed pepper, salt, cracked pepper, and chipotle, continue sautéing for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pot with all 4 bottles of beer. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. Enjoy hot.

Another recipe for your New Year's Day spread:
>Hoppin' John