3 bunches (~5 lbs) fresh collards
6 strips of bacon, diced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
2 meaty ham hocks
Remove the tougher, woody stalks from the collard leaves. Wash the leaves and cut them into half-inch-wide strips. Rolling the leaves like a cigar helps speed the process.
Put the bacon in a stock pot over high heat to render the fat, ~3 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent, but not brown, ~5 more minutes. Add the collards and cover with cool water. Add the pepper flakes, salt and ham hock. Bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Cook for at least 2 hours. Taste for salt. Remove ham hocks and pull meat from the bone, roughly chopping it. Add back to the pot and stir.
Yields 8 servings.