Wondering how these stuffed collard greens in the slow cooker came about? Pretty simple, actually. I bought the collard greens for my tortoises. They obviously can’t eat all of them. Combine that with the organic ground pork in the fridge that I needed to use, and, there you have it – stuffed collard greens in the slow cooker.
My Dad’s side of the family is Eastern European, so stuffed cabbage rolls were always a staple at every holiday meal. I never really liked them when I was little, but now with my food allergies and having to diversity my food, I am trying a ton do different recipes, foods and styles of cooking.
Despite making cabbage rolls always being a little intimating to me, these were pretty easy, and using the slow cooker was awesome. I made the stuffing the night before and let everything really soak in, but making it all at one time is fine, too.
Stuffed Collard Greens in the Slow Cooker
What I used:
1/2 pound organic ground pork
1 onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 cup cooked long grain brown rice
1, 14.5 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes (do not drain!)
2 cups tomato sauce (divided)
1/2 cup water
1 bunch collard greens, rinsed and stems removed
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
What I did:
In a medium pan, heat the oil. Add in the ground pork and cook until almost brown, breaking up and large pieces. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Add in the onion and garlic and cook until soft and the meat is not raw.
In a large bowl, combine the pork, onion and garlic with the rice and tomatoes. Mix well. Add additional salt and pepper if needed.
If you can, cover and let sit overnight. If not, you can use it right away.
Evenly spread around one cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Place a collard green leaf on a cutting board. Toward the top end, carefully drop 2-3 teaspoons of the pork mixture in the center. Begin to roll the leaf toward the bottom and then fold in the sides. Put finished rolls in the slow cooker. (stacking them is ok!)
Repeat until the mixture, or leaves, are finished. If you have extra pork mixture left, you can either put it around the rolls in the slow cooker or freeze for a quick weeknight dinner. I do the latter.)
Cover the rolls with the remaining one cup tomato sauce and about a 1/2 cup water.
Put the slow cooker on low and cook for about 5 hours, or until the leaves are very soft.
– Some people say to blanch the collard green leaves. That’s just too much work for me. But, feel free to try it. It will make them a bit easier to roll.
– I used a slow cooker bag, which I tend to find can alter the cooking times on some recipes. In general, I have found it takes a little longer.
– Feel free to took them longer than the 5 hours, just make sure there is enough water and sauce. After about 6 hours, I lowered to just keep warm, because we weren’t ready to eat yet. The longer they sat the better I thought they tasted.
– I froze the leftovers and will update the post when I defrost them to let you know how they taste.
– If you’re looking for a wine pairing, a semi-sweet white wine went well with this.