It’s a wonderful Southern taste but you will be happiest easing into it. Try Pot Liquor put together with ready made ingredients from your local homogenized store. If you like that, you can ease yourself along toward Potliquor made from your own garden, local farmer’s market, and favorite smoke shop. Your at Potlikker when you keep the pot resupplied with fresh ingredients from one day to the next. When cared for it never gets old, only better.
The ingredients are fresh or canned greens, smoked pork hocks or ham boon or smoked bacon, and vineger for dressing. If you don’t know whether you prefer collard, turnip, or mustard greens, buy the seasoned mixed greens in the 27 ounce can. Season to taste with salt, pepper, Frank’s Redhot Sauce, liquid smoke, or not.
If you are easing into this taste, add your well done bacon bits and liquid smoke to the pot containing your canned greens. Simmer maybe twenty minutes and drain well the greens as you want to save the water in your pot for the Pot Liquor. By squeezing the liquid out of your greens you make way for the vinegar dressing. It will still be a little soupy so best served in a small side dish. What’s left in the pot is your to enjoy as a hot soup immediately, the next day, or frozen for another time.
When you advance to Potliquor, you use fresh greens from your garden or the farmer’s market. Put the greens through several cold rinses to get rid of all the grit. Dice and set aside. If you found a nice smoked ham hock, add ham hock, seasoning, and greens to boiling water. If you are still using smoked bacon, take the bacon out of the skillet, cool, and crumble. Add the fresh greens to the bacon grease for three or four minutes, then scoup up and put in the pot along with the bacon. Don’t ask how long, just don’t rush it, maybe two hours on a low simmer.
You can play around with other ingredients such as Frank’s Redhot Sauce, garlic, cilantra, or even diced leeks if you clean them carefully. Leeks are always gritty with sand and dirt. If you are not willing to very closely inspect the ridge flap between the light and dark green of the Leek layers, you will be better off cutting that section out. You are at Potlikker when you refresh the pot atleast once, and you won’t settle for anything but the best smoked pork available.
If you are in Clarion County you can try Hirsch Meats in Kossuth. Call ahead at (814) 797-5206. My favorite smoke shop is Willie’s Smoke House just south of Harrisville PA on Route 8 in Butler County. They are closed on Sunday and Monday. Call ahead at (724) 735-4184. I go there for smoked baby backribs when I do Black Eyed Peas, and smoked chops when I make Navy Bean soup. Charles Marlin