southern essentials: pot liquor (potlikker) broth

★★★★★ 1 Review
ThePretentiousChef avatar
By Andy Anderson !
from Wichita, KS

Spent last evening making a couple of batches of this amazing savory liquid. It was a beautiful evening with a light rain falling, and I opened the windows to let that rain-soaked air into the test kitchen. This recipe has its roots deeply embedded in Southern culture. It is a flavorful broth made from greens and beans, then further amped up by ham hocks, or bacon, and a few choice spices. It is added to soups, stews, chilis, and gravies to give them an enhanced flavor boost. You do not have to be Southern to enjoy this delightful broth. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen

★★★★★ 1 Review
serves Several
prep time 15 Min
cook time 2 Hr
method Pressure Cooker/Instant Pot

Ingredients For southern essentials: pot liquor (potlikker) broth

  • 8 oz
    beans, dried, more on this later
  • 6 c
    filtered water
  • 1 lb
    greens, more on this later
  • 12 oz
    smoked ham hock, more on this later
  • 2 clove
    garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt, kosher variety, fine grind, to taste

How To Make southern essentials: pot liquor (potlikker) broth

  • 1
  • 2
    You will need a pressure cooker (Insta Pot), a soup pan, and a fine mesh strainer, to make this recipe. Using the pressure cooker to make the beans cuts several hours off the cooking process.
  • 3
    I like the flavor a smoked ham hock gives to this broth; however, you could use a ham bone, or even some bacon (smoked bacon, if you have any). Greens are a part-and-parcel of Southern cooking. For this recipe I am using some mustard greens, but you could use other solid greens like kale, collards, or even spinach. Each type will impart its own unique flavor to this broth. As with greens, the type of beans you use help to give this recipe its amazing earthy flavors. Black beans was my choice, but use what you like best, or whatever you have on hand. Salt Salt is a necessary ingredient to bring out the flavors of this recipe; however, since ham hocks and bacon do contain salt (especially ham hocks), be careful that you do not use too much sodium. I found that the salt I used to flavor the beans while they were pressure cooking was enough to flavor the broth, and I did not add more.
  • 4
    This recipe will keep up to 5 – 7 days covered in the fridge, or 4 - 6 months, if properly frozen. If you have a vacuum sealer that will seal liquids (they do make them), then this broth will last over a year when frozen. This recipe should net you about 24 to 30 ounces of liquid.
  • 5
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 6
    Add the beans to your pressure cooker/Insta Pot, then add the water and a pinch or two of salt.
  • 7
    Set the pressure cooker to high, with a time of 40 minutes. After the allotted time, wait about 15 minutes before releasing any remaining pressure.
  • 8
    Add the greens to a large heavy-bottomed pot.
  • 9
    Then add the ham hock (or whatever you are using), spices, and beans, along with all the liquid from the pressure cooker.
  • 10
    Bring up to a simmer.
  • 11
    Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally for 60 minutes.
  • 12
    Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.
  • 13
    Filter through a fine mesh strainer, and discard solids.
  • 14
    Although the greens will be pretty much spent, the beans are still good to eat, so tuck in.
  • 15
    Store in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
  • 16
  • So Yummy
    I like to use this pot liquor to ramp up the flavors of things like soups, stews, chilis; even gravies. My ratio is usually to replace 25-50 percent of the recipe’s liquid. So, if a chili recipe calls for 2 cups of liquid (chicken stock, water, etc.), I will add from 1/2 to 1 cup of pot liquor. It really makes a flavor difference. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.