In a saucepan set over medium-high heat, add 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then add the ham hocks and cook until the meat is tender and tears away easily, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Thoroughly wash the collard greens. Remove the stems and tear the greens into 2-inch pieces.
In a separate stock pot of boiling water, add a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes and blanch the greens for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the greens and discard the water.
Remove the ham hocks from the cooking liquid and tear the meat from the bones. Return the meat to the cooking liquid and bring to a simmer. Add the blanched collard greens. Cover and cook the greens until a butter knife can easily pass through, 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Serve hot.
The age of the collard greens will affect cooking time.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Gladys Sibley of Blue Front Cafe, Bentonia, MS