Traditional New Year's Day Collards {Pressure Cooker Method}

January 3, 2012
A touch of tomato paste, a touch of balsamic vinegar, and the pressure cooker method are the secret to these tender and tasty New Year's Day Collards.

Every Southerner knows the traditional New Year's Day meal is collards, some form of pork, and black-eyed peas.  Why, you ask?  Because this, according to lore, brings you luck and good fortune for the upcoming year.

According to Southern Living, collards and black-eyed peas "all but guarantee a prosperous year. Some say the greens represent dollar bills and the peas, coins, ensuring wealth and luck."  And, one reason pork is traditional for New Year's Day according to is that "pigs have also long symbolized progress. A pig can't turn his head to look back without turning completely around, so it's believed that pigs are always looking to the future. They fit in perfectly with other New Year's celebrations."

Now, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I'd rather not tempt fate to find out!

My husband Mark took point to prepare our New Year's Day meal this year, giving his pressure cooker a whirl for the collards and pork.  And boy oh boy, were those collards tasty and tender!  I can absolutely say they were the best collards I've ever had.  And I'm not just saying that because my cute husband made them.

He loaded his pressure cooker up with collards ...

... and then put in some onions, garlic, ham hocks, and other good stuff.

He cooked it for about 20 minutes or so, and delivered up the most super tasty and tender collards I've ever had. 

So, whether or not you ate your collards, pork, and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day, Mark and I wish you much luck and prosperity in 2012!

Collard Greens {Pressure Cooker Method}
Source: Adapted from Yummly 
(Printable recipe)
1 bunch fresh collard greens
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
2 T. olive oil
2 T. tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. salt
2 large onions, quartered
2 ham hocks
1/4 lb. hog jaw or fatback

1.  Clean your collards by filling your sink with cold water and soaking them for 1/2 hour. Remove the thick part of the stems at the bottom of the greens. Give the collards a rough chop to cut them into large pieces.

2.  Place the chicken broth, olive oil, tomato paste, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, and salt in the bottom of the pressure cooker; stir to combine. Add collards and toss a bit to coat them with the chicken broth mixture.

3.  Place the onions, ham hocks, and hog jaw on top of the collards.

4.  Seal the pressure cooker pot. Pressure cook for 20 minutes.



  1. well it sounds really yummy, and if I get rich from eating it all the better!

  2. I've never had collards before, but these look really good. My dad used the pressure cooker all the time when we were growing up, but I never use it. I should try this.

    Thanks so much for your comment at Reading Confetti! I'm a new follower!

  3. Very delicious. I didn't even use the meat, and forgot the balsamic. Tossed a couple of quartered tomatoes on top with the onions.

  4. While most electric pressure cookers these days also have a slow-cook option, some of them takes the concept further with menus that can automatically adjust the time, temperature and pressure between fast and slow cooking.


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