While on our road trip through the south a few weeks ago, we enjoyed our lunch at Aunt Bea's restaurant in Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Country style steak with gravy, collard greens, mac & cheese, and hush puppies.
Much to our surprise, Jo and I both loved the collard greens, which we'd never tried before. That was a challenge to me to re-create them! I'll grab a round steak out of the freezer and try re-creating the steak & gravy, too.
I rinsed the greens and took the big stems out. Then I rolled them up and cut them.
I found some recipes online and based mine on those, with no real specific measurements. I'd picked up a couple small smoked ham hocks when I got the greens. Those add lots of flavor to the cooking broth, which was about a quart and a half of water. I added some chicken base (to make it a chicken broth). I simmered the ham hocks for about 30 minutes, then added the cut up greens.
I added about a TBSP each of sugar & salt, some black pepper, about 15 garlic cloves, half a sliced Vidalia onion, a little cayenne pepper, and about a TBSP of Family Dollar soul food seasoning. Also, about 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Covered and cooked for about 2 hours.
For the gravy, I diced up some onion and portobello mushrooms.
Seasoned the tenderized round steak with seasoned salt & black pepper, then into the pan to brown.
After browning on both sides, it's out of the pan and into the 350-degree oven to finish cooking.
Now, let's make some gravy! A couple TBSP butter into the pan.
Add the diced onions & mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper.
Stir and cook until soft, about 7-8 minutes. This is already good enough to eat!
Add a couple TBSP flour and mix.
Then add a couple cups of water and a little beef base or beef bouillon. Stir until thickened.
Collard greens are done!
Plated up country style steak with mushroom onion gravy and collard greens.
Once again, Aunt Bea's...
I think it was a little better than the original at Aunt Bea's. I will say I nailed the collard greens on the first try. They were fantastic! How'd I do, compared to the original meal, Jo?
It was very good. There was no mac and cheese, but I had plenty to eat. (And I already know his mac and cheese rocks!)