Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas, cooked down with the Trinity, some bacon, jalapeno, a ham bone or ham hock and a few seasonings, makes for a traditional southern meal.

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

Unlike my red beans and rice and my butter beans, I don't find it necessary to pre-boil and soak most southern peas like black-eyed peas. They cook up good and tender without that step in my little ole opinion. Course you go right ahead and do that if ya want. Cooking to me is all about individualizing recipes to suit your fancy, not somebody else's and everybody - even here in The South - cooks things a little bit different from one another anyway.

I never understand people who get all up in arms about the way other people cook! Course, we all may secretly think our way is the perfect and only way, because that's the way we learned it, but a proper southern lady or gentleman would never be so bold about it to say so, not in public anyways {wink wink}.) Oh my goodness the things that people say on Facebook these days - yes, on little ole recipe pages like mine. You'd think they didn't have a proper raisin' y'all! So if you like to pre-soak or pre-boil your beans, then I say go for it and nevermind what anybody else has to say about it.

Simply seasoned southern black-eyed peas, made with bacon, the Trinity of vegetables, ham hocks, jalapenos, bay leaves, salt, pepper and Cajun seasoning.
It's also okay to go ahead and pre-season these beans, unlike the larger ones. These are sooooo good!  Prefer Hoppin' John? While you're here, pop on over and check out this Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya - my Deep South's take on Hoppin' John.

Recipe: New Year's Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 1 hour 30 min | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 1/4 pound of bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 of a medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of chopped celery
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Leftover diced ham and/or a ham bone or ham hocks, if ya got it
  • About 2 quarts of hot water (can also use chicken broth or stock)
  • 1 pound of dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 1 to 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and chopped, or to taste, optional
  • Couple pinches of kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Additional water or chicken broth or stock, if needed

In a tall stockpot cook the bacon until done but not crisp; add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to the rendered bacon fat and cook just until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so. If you have some leftover ham, add it here also and cook it until browned. Toss the peas in the pot and sort of stir fry them with the veggies for a bit. Then slowly begin adding the hot water, stirring in as you do, and bring it up to a full boil.

If you're lucky enough to have a ham bone, stick it in there after you add the water but before you add the peas, reduce heat to medium and allow the ham bone to cook by itself for about an hour to deepen the stock. Once that cooks (or if you don't happen to have a ham bone) go ahead and just add the dried peas and then the jalapeno, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves. Then bring it all to a boil.

Reduce to a medium simmer and partially cover, cooking for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until peas are tender and creamy. Add additional chicken stock or water only if necessary to slightly thin out. Serve over hot cooked rice (that's how we do it down here) or stir them into the rice if ya like! Add a side of some Southern Skillet Cornbread and you've pretty much rounded this meal out.

And, of course, if you're cooking these for your New Year's Day meal, don't forget to eat your cabbage or maybe some collard greens too!

Cook's Notes: This is the same basic recipe that I use for all of the southern peas I cook. Southern peas cover a wide range and are sometimes referred to as cowpeas because they were used as fodder for livestock in years past. The most popular southern peas include black-eyed peas, pink eyes, crowder peas, field peas, cream peas and purple hull peas, but just about any kind of bean can also be seasoned in this manner.


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too!

Hoppin' John - Black-eyed Pea Jambalaya
Collard Greens with Ham Hocks and Hoecakes
Southern Skillet Cornbread
Shortcut Southern Style Corned Beef and Cabbage

Posted by on January 1, 2009

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  1. Hi Mary - Love your site and use your recipes ALL the time! Have recommended your blog to lots of folks . . . I'm planning to make your collards for New Years, and have gotten it into my head to just add my (frozen) blackeyed peas to them rather than cook them separately. I end up eating them all together anyway, so why not? :) In light of this, which should I start first, the peas, or the collards? I'd appreciate your input immensely!!

  2. I've read somewhere that pre-soaking your beans allows the bad gasses to escape so they are easier to digest. I think it was so the body could absorb the nutrients in the beans - otherwise that gassy enzyme blocks it in the body.

  3. Hi Karen! I appreciate you sharing my site with your family & friends - thank you so much!! Word of mouth is my only "advertising." You know I never use frozen black-eyed peas, but I'm sure that they are pre-cooked some. Depending on the "tooth" you want from the collards, those can take anywhere from 45 mins to more than an hour and a half, and longer if you're using a ham hock - which you'll want to cook off by itself first. I'd say start the ham hock, then the collards, check the black-eyed peas package and see how long it recommends to cook those & then add them in at the appropriate time. I hope that helps!

  4. I absolutely do pre-soak beans, actually I do the quick boil/soak thing most often but I also change the water so the gas from them isn't an issue for us. I don't presoak these smaller southern peas however but will need to look into that nutrition issue - thanks for that tip!

  5. Yall are gonna kill me for even bothering to type this, lol. I, having been a young mother and wife and not really attempting to cook until then, open a 2 cans of Luck's and two can of Richfood stewed tomatoes that I cut up in the can with a butter knife, add Liquid Smoke and simmer for a while. No one knows the difference. Now that I have 3 children (4 if you count Hubby) I cheat A LOT.

  6. I hear ya too! I do the dried blackeyed peas for New Years - to be honest it's just a tradition with me, but we often have canned peas throughout the year with our everyday meals. Not a single thing wrong with it either. I like the mix of Liquid Smoke & stewed tomatoes too - will have to try that!!

  7. Help!!! I have been cooking some fresh peas for New Years and they have been cooking for hours. I can'T SEEM TO MAKE THEM TENDER. What am I doing wrong? They have been cooking on a med high boil for at least 6 hours. Do they useally take this long to cook? Looks like we won't have luck this year.

  8. Hi Robin! Saw your comment over on Facebook too. I don't usually cook fresh peas, but heck no they shouldn't take anywhere near that long. Did you shell these yourself? If not, then if they are very very old peas, I guess they could take a long time to get tender. I cooked some red beans like that once & they were dried, but those suckers never got tender. I ended up pitching them. That's just the oddest thing - sure wish I could help more!

    1. If you added your salt in the beginning, they will NEVER get soft!

    2. Around Christmas/New Years, they sell pre soaked black eyed peas and try to pass them off as fresh. Basically all they have done is quick soak some dried beans and charge you 4 bucks a pint rather than .50 cents for a 1 lb bag. Sorry, those weren't fresh peas more than likely.

      I eat fresh black eyes (and pink eyes and lady peas ect.....) all summer long. They are ready to eat as soon as 20 minutes after they first come to a boil depending on how vigorously you let them boil and how "al dente" you like them.


    3. That's just downright wrong!! The best source for fresh peas when they are in season is the farmer's markets I guess.

  9. Thanks Mary that is what I figured too. I finally gave up and trashed them. I think I will just stay with the dried kind for now on...LOL I guess that is why they were on sale at such a great price :)

  10. Boy I would have not been happy at all. I sure hope they weren't trying to sell off old peas or else they probably have quite a few angry customers! What a pain for such an important meal too!

  11. Made this recipe last night and it was dee-lish-us. Several momma's almost got smacked, yeah ... it was that good. I did change just a few things - used pork jowl in place of the bacon and added andouille sausage. By the way, had never made b.e.p.'s before, but have tasted 'em plenty and this is definitely what they are supposed to taste like.

    1. Oh LOL!! Thanks so much! I'm really glad they were a hit & that's about the best compliment a gal could hope for - thanks!!

  12. How could I use this recipe in my crockpot?

    1. Hey Mallory! I haven't experimented with this one in the crockpot yet, so I'm just not sure on the time, but I'd say just dump it all in there and let it go on low all day. If you pre-soak the beans you'll shorten the cooking time a bit.

  13. Just wondering if you pre-soak the peas or do you just toss them dried after rinsing & sorting? Most other recipes I've ever seen require overnight soaking.

    1. I don't pre-soak personally - for these peas I really don't find it a necessary step, though it might shorten the cooking time a bit.

  14. Hi Mary I'm a newbie to your site and I must say that I successfully made for the first time cornbread from scratch thanks to you and sadly I didn't have my cast iron skillet that I was raised on. Nonetheless it turned out supergreat! Still working on perfecting the black eyed peas since I had to modify a bit due to the fact that he really doesn't like meat in his beans. His family were born and raised in Mississippi so I'm up against a very knowledgeable and critical family of cooks! However after about 3 years om ready to showcase some culinary arts skills. My mother although not born and raised in the south wad the only sister of seven that I thought could really cook. All holiday dinners were at our house and my mom cooked a lot of soul food southern dishes. Not sure where she got it other than the fact that she had five kids of her own. I dont ever remember a time where I ate my grandmothers food. All that to say that I love the recipes that I tried so far and o look forward to beginning this journey with my secret weapon (you) at my side. Yours truly, teacher and new mom enjoying a much deserved summer vacation

    1. Hi Valencia! I bet you are enjoying your break. I have always had a lot of respect for teachers but even more so today. Doesn't seem to matter the age at all anymore, it's sometimes a rough job that requires the patience of a saint!

      Don't tell anybody but I often make my cornbread without the skillet and simply in a pan! It's just easier than hauling out that heavy iron skillet!

      I'm so glad that you are enjoying the recipes & write me anytime if I can help!

  15. This recipe was perfect! Best peas I ever made-and I didn't use any meat!!!! This recipe is a keeper! Happy new year!

    1. Thank you Marvin & Happy New Year to you as well!

  16. Another excellent recipe. These peas went with your collard greens and cornbread recipe...OMG the best result I have ever had for ...I can NOT think of how many years I have been making "Hoppin John"... thanks as well for your explanation on with rice, over rice, tradition, etc etc...I appreciated it...

    1. You're welcome Elizabeth & thanks for letting me know you enjoyed them!

  17. Hi can I use red beans instead please let me no


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