by Ian Froeb
"I knew I wanted to cook homestyle -- soul, stick-to-your ribs foods," Andrew Ladlie says of Sassy JAC's (1730 South Eighth Street; 314-932-1280), the restaurant that he and his wife, Jennifer, opened in Soulard last May. The Sassy JAC's menu already has a deeply Southern bent -- an accent that will only strengthen as Ladlie rolls out new dishes in the coming weeks. Here he offers his take on a classic side dish: collard greens.
4 large bunches collard greens 1/3 lb. applewood-smoked bacon 1 large sweet yellow onion, julienned ¼ cup garlic cloves, thinly sliced 6 cups chicken broth ¼ cup red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste ¼ cup butter
1. De-stem the greens, then rough chop them and rinse in cold water. Place them in salted water to sit during the next few steps.
2. Cut the bacon into bite-size pieces and start it browning in a large pot.
3. Slice the onion and garlic as thinly as possible -- you want it to disappear while cooking.
4. When the bacon is almost brown, add the onions, cook them till they get color, then add the garlic.
5. De-glaze the pot with one cup of the stock, scraping the bottom. Add the rest of the stock and red wine vinegar.
6. Drain the greens and begin adding them in batches, steeping them down until they all fit. Cover and set to simmer.
7. When they cook to your desired texture add salt and pepper and stir in the butter. Serve now or keep in the fridge for up to three days. They could also keep frozen for up to a month.