Wash greens well, see detailed instructions above.
Remove ribs and stems and tear remaining leaves into bite size pieces.
In a separate Cast Iron or heavy skillet, add onion, garlic, bacon and saute for 1 minute. Add your greens and saute an additional minute. Add your squirt or two of hot sauce and hot pepper flakes, peppercorns and salt. Cook for 1 additional minutes. Total saute time: 3-4 minutes TOPS. You are not thoroughly cooking these ingredients in this step. Just sauting over heat to bring out the flavors.
Add all ingredients to your Slow Cooker. Add Chicken Broth, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and stir well.
Cook on low 8-10 hours. Low and slow is preferable. In a hurry, cook 4-6 hours on high.
When done, remove the ham hock and shred or dice the meat and return to the Slow cooker. Stir and taste for seasoning, adding more hot sauce of course.
Serve with plenty of Pot Liquor and you eat with your favorite side dishes such as beans, and cornbread - the Souths favorite Trinity.
It is quite okay to swap out a really meaty Smoked Turkey leg for the Ham Hocks, or even leftover chopped ham is perfect too.Also, don't feel limited to just using Collard Greens. Mustard (which we include here) and Turnip Greens are tasty additions too.Don't forget the Hot Sauce y'all!!