We eat a lot of greens around here, especially this time of year. Usually, just sauteed with olive oil and some slivered garlic, but occasionally done more elaborately with bean broth. I may once have tried simmering some kale with chicken broth, but it didn’t seem to add much. However, I recently obtained a copy of Paula Wolfert’s cookbook, The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, and the first recipe I really looked at was the intriguing meat-braised greens. It called for beef bones, and -hello!- I have a lot of beef bones in my freezer. Definitely worth trying.
The technique here is to sear beef or lamb bones in butter (with the pan covered), then add a cup of water, salt and pepper and simmer until the resulting broth is reduced down to just a few tablespoons. The bones removed, you cook mixed greens in the rich broth. You could certainly obtain a similar result by starting with pre-made beef broth and simmering it down, but I have a feeling that starting with bones gives a particularly tasty result.
You can use any dark leafy greens for this. I often buy lacinato kale or rainbow chard, but for this recipe I settled on a mix of beet greens and spinach. The recipe directs you to blanch the greens first, but I like the bitterness of unblanched greens, so I just wash them and chop them before the final cooking. I don’t cook them too long (maybe ten minutes), although if you were using something tougher like collards you might want to give them a longer simmer.
As suggested, I served the greens with a good dollop of Greek yogurt blended with raw garlic, salt and dried mint. The greens were delicious, with a definite beefy flavor, and the yogurt was the perfect complement. We also threw in some lamb chops and a bit of cooked buttered orzo. And I threw the cooked bones into a pot with some water and simmered them again to make a light beef broth for the freezer.