Gumbo Z'Herbes

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 25 mins

Almost anything green is game here: Good options include turnip or beet greens, spinach, kale, fresh herbs, and green onions.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 ham hocks (about 1 ½ pounds total), with several ½-inch slits cut into them

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 3 bunches (3 pounds total) mixed collard and mustard greens, rinsed and chopped

  • 3 cans (14 ½ ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • Coarse salt

  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Cooked white rice, for serving


  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium. Add ham hocks and onion; cook until onion has softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add greens; cook, stirring frequently, until wilted, 7 to 9 minutes. Add broth, 6 cups water, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme; season with salt and cayenne.

  3. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook the gumbo 2 1/2 hours, or until ham hocks are tender and greens are very tender.

  4. Remove ham hocks from pot; shred meat, discarding skin and bones. Return meat to gumbo. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season with salt, and serve over rice.

Cook's Notes

After simmering for a couple of hours, the meat is so tender it's easy to shred. Pull it from the bone with two forks.

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