Greens are a humble dish, yet you might be surprised at just how delicious they really are. The ham hock imparts a rich, smoky flavor to the earthy collards; reducing the pan juices (the “pot liquor”) creates a flavorful glaze for the cooked greens.
Serve alongside hearty roast meats for a nutritious and satisfying side dish.
Place the fat in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the ham hock, onion and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the collard greens and the chicken stock, cover the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the collards are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer the greens with tongs to a heated serving bowl; cover with a plate or foil to keep warm. Add the sugar and lemon juice to the stock remaining in the pan and raise the heat to medium-high. Reduce the liquid to about 1/2 cup. Pour the reduced juices over the collard greens and serve immediately.