Ok, they came out great! They actually reminded me a great deal of the flavor in a New England Boiled Dinner. Growing up I ate smoked shoulder, roots and cabbage simmered for a long time on teh stove in a big ole' pot.
The ham hock had almost the same flavor as smoked shoulder, and the collards rsembeled the cabbage in flavor (with just a hint of tang, and different texture).
De-ribbed a bunch of greens, rolled them, and cut 'em into strips followed by a cross-cut into pieces. Then I filled my sink with cold water, swashed the green around, then let them float in the water for about 15min. I used my salad spinner to remove the better part of the wter that clinged to them. I did see some junk on the bottom of the sink, so I'm glad I washed them well.
I started with a smoked ham hock and 2-C of chicken stock in a 3qt saucier. I simmered it for about 15min to get the smokiness into the broth, then I added a teaspoon of sugar. Added the greens (about 1/2lb of trimmed/washed leaves) and cooked them (covered) at a bare simmer for 45min. I only opened the pan once to stir/fold them over. I finished them by adding a teaspoon or so white wine vinegar to the broth and stirring them.
Before plating I put them in a cheesecloth over a bowl just to drain a bit of the broth that would otheriwse run over the plate. Very very tasty, especially with the mashed taters, fried chicken, and gravy I served 'em with. Some people say they eat the "meat" on the hock. Well, I must have had a pig that was pretty lazy because I found about one 1/4oz strip of meat. The rest was bone, connective tissue, and fat. I tried drinking some of the "likka". While I think it would make an excellent sauce base, I don't think you'll see me downing mugs of it anytime soon...
Interesting enough, I let the pan sit overnight and the "likker" gelled up solid between the stock I used and all the collagen melting out from the hock. Likka Jello. That would be an interesting dish for an upscale southern restaurant. Reduce it a bit more, filter it, let it firm up, and serve it with chicken confit...