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.
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 bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced ham, optional
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 quarts of room temperature water, chicken broth/stock or a combination
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and chopped, or to taste, optional
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Additional water or chicken broth or stock, as 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. Add ham and cook until lightly browned. Add peas, cook and stir for 2 minutes, then begin to add the water or broth slowly, stirring in a little at a time; bring to a boil. Add ham hocks, jalapenos, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and bay leaves.

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. Pull any meat off the bone and return to peas; taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve over hot cooked rice. Add a side of some Southern Skillet Cornbread. If serving for New Years, don't forget to eat your cabbage or collard greens too!

Cook's Notes: If you're lucky enough to have a ham bone, add the water, but wait to add the peas. Cook over medium and cook for one hour, for the ham bone to deepen the stock. Once that cooks, add the dried peas and then the jalapeno, and seasonings, and proceed with the recipe.

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.

For the Slow Cooker: Prepare as above, transferring everything to slow cooker. Cover and cook for low for about 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 5 to 6. To thicken, remove a cup of the peas and mash, returning to the pot, or prepare a slurry of 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch with enough water to form a thin paste. Bring peas up to a boil, stirring in slurry and boil until thickened (this works faster on the stovetop).


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©Deep South Dish
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Check These Recipes Out Too Y'all!

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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