Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Sausage, Beans, and Greens in the Slow Cooker

Today I prepared a traditional New Years meal for our family. Growing up in Charlotte, we had a neighbor (Mr. Jim) who believed in eating greens and black eyed peas on New Years day for good luck. I was not a fan of greens at the time, but since "good luck" meant he would leave me a dollar in the fence, I would eat them. It didn't hurt that I was walking over to his house for a piece of my favorite homemade pound cake.

Fast forward a few years, and I love greens and yearly traditions. When I saw this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen, I knew this would be our good luck meal for 2014. A little cornbread on the side seemed to fit perfectly.

Sausage, Beans, and Greens in the Slow Cooker
from Kalyn's Kitchen

1 cup uncooked dried beans, soaked overnight (I used black eyed peas for New Years)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
5 links hot turkey or pork sausage
1-2 tsp oil, for browning sausage
1 bunch collard greens, cut into ribbons and washed
1/2 cup bean cooking liquid
1 tsp garlic, finely minced
Parmesan cheese for serving

Serve with skillet cornbread

Put beans in a small saucepan with garlic powder, onion powder, and enough water to cover. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until beans are nearly done but still have a little bite. Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. 

While beans cook, brown sausage well in frying pan, adding a little oil if you are using turkey sausage. Let them get very brown on the outside. When sausages are nicely browned, remove from pan, cool enough to handle, and cut into slices.

Cut stems off collard greens, and cut into ribbons crosswise, then cut the long ribbons into 2-3 pieces and rinse. Place collard greens in bottom of crock pot. Pour 1/2 cup of bean cooking liquid into pan where you cooked the sausage, add fresh garlic, and cook 2-3 minutes to deglaze pan. Put beans in crock pot, top with sausage, and pour deglazing liquid from pan over the top.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, until collard greens are quite soft and flavors are well-combined. Serve hot with Parmesan cheese on top and skillet cornbread on the side.

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