With a paring knife, cut the ribs out of each collard green. Stack and roll the greens up like a cigar. Then cut them crosswise into ribbons. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the greens for 5 minutes. Drain.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook until starting to turn golden, about 4 minutes.
Add the blanched collards to the pan, sprinkle with the salt, and add the stock. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the collards are very tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sprinkle with the hot pepper flakes, and serve the collards with their pan juices.
VARIATIONS: • Add 1/2 pound diced smoked sausage when you sauté the collards. • If you want the smoked flavor without the heat, add some sweet smoked paprika to the collards as they’re sautéed. • Omit the hot pepper flakes and pass hot sauce at the table so diners can season the collards themselves.
Recipe courtesy of The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook by Dr. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell with Sandy Gluck/Sterling Epicure, 2011.