Turnip Greens, Southern Style

Sorry ya’ll.

(I thought a statement containing “ya’ll” would be an appropriate way to open this entry considering the title.)

Sorry it’s been a while since the last installment. It just got back from a VERY stressful weekend with family which I won’t go into except to restate the “VERY” part.

It also fits that this post is about turnip greens, a staple of true southern cooking, when I just spent the weekend with my true southern family. (Lets revisit that “VERY” part, shall we.)

I love turnip greens. I never understood why people didn’t like them. I like mine cooked with hog jowl (I’ll explain later) and cut up turnips. Mmmmmmm.

You will need:

A bad of pre-washed and cut turnip greens
A hunk of hog jowl (You can use bacon if you want)
A couple of medium turnips
Salt and pepper

Lets do some prep work first.

Peal and cut the turnips into chunks.

Dice the hog jowl. I didn’t use the entire piece of jowl, I use about half of it. You can, of course, use less if you want to. If you are using bacon (wuss) I would say to use 1 lb of bacon. Again, you can use less if you want.

Heat a pot over medium and add the jowl (or bacon) to the pot and cook until most of the fat is rendered. See that oil in there? That’s all from the jowl, you don’t add any oil to the pot when you cook the jowl. That’s ALL flavor is what that is.

Then add about 3 cups of water, the turnip greens, and the turnips. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes come back to it and it should look like this. See how much it’s already reduced. Salt and pepper the greens and then stir and replace the lid.

Continue to cook over medium until the turnips are soft and the greens reach the desired consistency. Check the pot every so often to make sure the water hasn’t cooked away. Burnt greens are an evil thing.

*Opps, I just realized I never did explain what hog jowl is. It’s the smoked/cured cheek area of a pig, just like bacon. That’s pretty much what it is, just a fatty version of bacon. That’s why I like to use it for greens (and baked beans and red beans and rice) because of the amount of fat you can render out it really packs a flavor punch.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Tim said,

    That looks great! Is hog jowl easy to find where you live? I’ve bought it here from Italian shops as guanciale for carbonara, but it was a hell of a job finding it.

  2. 2

    daisysmom said,

    Yeah, it’s pretty easy to find. It’s carried in major grocery stores like Kroger and Publix. But it’s an important ingredient in southern cooking so it’s more commonly asked for as well.


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