Makes 6 (10-ounce) servings
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
8 ounces Carolina Ham Trimmings, cut in small dice (available at Piggly Wiggly stores) (see cook's note)
1 1/2 cups medium-diced onions
1 tablespoon sliced garlic
6 cups stemmed and diced fresh collards
2 1/4 teaspoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes with juice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef stock, homemade or good quality store-bought
3 cups diced red potatoes, cut in 1/4-inch dice
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Cook's note: It's much easier to dice up the ham if you freeze it. If it's already sliced, you can just cut it into strips and then dice it.
Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy pot over medium heat. Add the ham and render the fat from the ham by cooking it slowly over medium heat, stirring frequently to keep it from browning. Add the onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook them over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions and garlic are soft. A little more oil may be needed if the ham doesn't have enough fat.
Slowly add the collards and allow them to wilt. This should be done in 2 batches, as the collards are very bulky raw, but wilt down like any greens. Add the herbs, tomatoes with juice, chicken broth, beef stock and red potatoes. Increase the heat to medium, bring the mixture up to a simmer, and continue to simmer it for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Skim the chowder of any foam or oil that may appear during the cooking process. Add the black pepper and Tabasco. Season to taste with salt and more Tabasco if desired.