Growing up, this was just about the only way I would eat my greens. I am more adventurous now, but I still love some good smothered greens. This is an ultra-simple recipe, one my Grandma made frequently, making a quick gravy out of (usually) some rendered bacon fat, a little flour and some onions. It is quintessential Great Depression cooking: making do with the leftovers. Lowly ingredients that are greater than the sum of their parts.
This time I had some leftover duck fat from a spicy smoked duck breast to start the gravy. If you don’t have it, use bacon fat. It’s enough to turn a greens-phobic into a greens lover.
Beet Greens with Duck Fat and Onion Gravy, makes enough for two (but barely, if one of them is me)
Greens from one bunch of beets, stems removed, washed well and chopped
1 T duck or bacon fat
1 T all purpose flour
1/2 c onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 c water
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the washed and chopped greens in a glass bowl with no extra water and cover with an inverted plate for a lid. Pop into the microwave to steam for one to two minutes.
Heat a medium pan over medium high heat and melt the fat. Sprinkle the flour over the fat and stir regularly until it is a caramel-y brown. It should be just slightly darker than you feel comfortable making it. (This is your roux and a roux always tastes better if it’s a bit darker.)
When it’s dark, add in the onions and stir to soften for five to seven minutes. Then add in the water, starting with a half a cup, increasing as the gravy thickens. You want a gravy, but not a thin one. Add in your greens and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with a spoon. Because I swear this is a meal to me. But it also goes exceedingly well with a roast chicken and some mashed potatoes. Go figure.
Playlist included Brooke Fraser’s Something in the Water.