Sausage and Collards with Cheddar Cheese Grits

Using the collard greens’ potlikker as cooking liquid for the grits adds layers of flavor to this warm and comforting supper.

Sausage and Collards with Cheddar Cheese Grits
Yields: 4 servings
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 pound chopped collard greens
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow grits
  • 1 (8-ounce) package sharp white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 (20-ounce) package Italian sausage, casings removed
  • ⅓ cup thinly sliced sweet onion (about ½ medium onion)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  1. In a large Dutch oven, bring 4 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Add collard greens; cook for 5 minutes. Drain, and set aside, reserving 3 cups cooking liquid.
  2. In Dutch oven, bring reserved 3 cups cooking liquid, milk, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Slowly stir in grits; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until grits are soft and creamy, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  3. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly. Remove sausage using a slotted spoon, and let drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in skillet.
  4. Add onion and bell pepper to skillet; cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add broth, brown sugar, vinegar, red pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt; bring to a boil. Add sausage and collards, tossing to coat. Serve over cheese grits.