Learn to make collard greens from City Barbeque

Secret to smoky collard greens is in the stock

I had the best meal ever at City Barbeque off Scott Boulevard in Decatur. The chopped brisket sandwich was one of the best I’ve ever eaten; however, their collard greens are to die for. I ate my order and then got an extra pint for dinner. I would like to have the recipe and learn their seasoning secrets. My son who lives in New York City and I are always competing about where to find the best BBQ and I have found it here. Thank you. — Jennie C. Shanor, Atlanta

Rick Malir, City Barbeque’s founder, was happy to share this recipe which makes great use of ingredients the restaurant has on hand. The result is collard greens that absolutely taste like they were made in a barbecue joint — smoky and tangy. In our photo, the greens are shown with the restaurant’s award-winning beef brisket and fresh-cut fries.

Malir says, “It’s a ton of work. But doing things the right way is the only way we do them, and this recipe is really how we make our collards, every day: destemming and cleaning fresh greens, smoking bacon, roasting pork bones for scratch-made stock.”

City Barbeque recommends making that pork stock from scratch. At the restaurant they roast 40 smoked pork shoulder bones, then put them in a stock pot, add onions, celery, salt and water to cover, then simmer the mixture for hours. Knowing that smoked pork shoulder bones are not readily available to most of us, they suggested substituting a high-quality chicken stock. We tested the recipe with stock made from ham base (sold in the soup section of some grocery stores) and that added a nice smoky, porky quality.

When we tested the recipe, we found that one large bunch of fresh collards provided the pound-and-a-half of greens needed. The recipe would be easy to scale up as needed. You’ll just need to scale up your cooking pot as well.

City Barbeque, 2511 Blackmon Drive, Decatur. 404-410-2566.

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of restaurant in the subject line.


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