Breaking News
More () »

Here's Mia Gradney's family recipe for collard greens

The popular Southern dish was first created with greens and ham hocks that were considered scraps in plantation kitchens. They were tossed to enslaved people.

HOUSTON — HEB and members of the KHOU 11 News family present their favorite African-American cuisine complete with beloved family recipes. 

Mia's Family Collard Greens & Ham Hocks Recipe


  • 4 bundles collard greens
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water
  • 1 pound ham hocks (boneless preferred, available at HEB)
  • 1 small serrano pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Remove stems from the collard greens and rinse.
  2. Roll leaves and cut diagonally.
  3. Cook ham hocks a little so they stay tender.
  4. Add 3/4 cup of water to pot. Add ham hocks. Cook on medium heat until tender but not falling apart.
  5. Leave a 1/4 of the ham hocks in the pot.
  6. Add greens to the pot with the water and hammocks.
  7. Add 1/4 cup canola oil (instead of butter)
  8. Cook until greens start to shrink.
  9. Add a teaspoon and a half of sugar.
  10. Add a teaspoon salt. Watch the salt! Ham hocks are already salty.
  11. Continue to cook greens for a minute or two.
  12. Add a small chopped serrano pepper.
  13. Add remaining ham hocks and their juices back to the pot.
  14. Continue to simmer and stir greens.
  15. Cook until greens are tender and darker in color but not brown or burnt.
  16. Serve with cornbread or hot water cornbread.

Before You Leave, Check This Out