September 3, 2013

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas

Something amazing happened this weekend, y’all! My Canadian, meat-and-potatoes husband ate black-eyed peas! And he LIKED them!!!

Husband doesn't like cooked vegetables. Well, he’ll eat corn and potatoes but they don’t really count in my book. And he’ll eat a salad or other raw veggies but that’s about it on the veggie home front. And it drives me bonkers!

I thought I might be able to lure him in to tasting black-eyed peas after he shocked me last week by actually eating some canned pinto beans. It was that last stretch before payday and I’d run out of fresh veggies to serve with supper so I heated up a can of pintos. Knowing how much he likes raw onion, I diced some up and put them on the pintos. He sat down and looked at his plate and immediately turned his nose up. I reminded him that he eats pintos in chili and to just shut up and try them. And guess what? He cleaned his plate!

Figuring I might be able to cash in on the whole legume thing, I thought I’d press my luck with some black-eyed peas this weekend. And he ate those too!!! He’s going to have a healthy colon if it kills me!

Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1/4 cup butter
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 smoked ham hocks*
1-2 teaspoons salt**
1 teaspoon black pepper

Soak peas in 6 cups water overnight (10-12 hours). Drain peas, rinse well with cold water and then drain again. Set aside.

In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, sauté onion in butter until onion is translucent and tender. Add 4 cups water, ham hocks, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and drained peas to pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

Remove ham hocks and trim off ham; discarding bones, cartilage and skin. Add ham pieces back to peas and stir. Add more salt to taste then simmer peas on low for one additional hour. If you have more liquid than you’d like, simmer on medium heat, uncovered, until liquid has reduced to your liking.

I usually serve mine over white rice with some fresh diced onion sprinkled on top but you can serve them on their own as well.

*Use ham hocks, a leftover ham bone or even a smoked turkey leg. If you can’t find or don’t have any of these, season with several drops of Liquid Smoke.

**The amount of salt you need really depends on how salty your ham hocks or other seasoning meat is. The peas will continue to draw salt from the meat as they cook. Start with 1 teaspoon and then salt to taste the last hour of cooking. I like mine on the salty side because I always serve them over rice, which is relatively bland.


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  1. I cook mine in the crock pot.. that's the only way I will have them... very good.

  2. I stumbled upon you looking for what sides go well with pork chops and gravy (because who doesn't braise pork chops in gravy for four hours after work, in September, in the south when it's 90 degrees? Turn up the a/c and hush.) I know steak, rice and gravy (and if I forget the petit pois God help me (only Dubon in this house). But pork chops always give me pause. My momma served them with sauerkraut, apple sauce and mashed potatoes but then again, she didn't serve gravy. I don't think I've ever forgiven her for that. I drink gravy with a straw (thus the 30 pound weight gain during menopause. You can NOT eat like you still have a metabolism). I digress. I have 3 potatoes but no milk but I'll make the mashed anyway and go with the applesauce. Thanks for hearing "us" out and I'll definitely be back. (The colon comment made me laugh out loud - thanks!)

  3. Is that sliced bacon in the picture?

  4. Glad to know other southern girls eat rice under peas. We grew up having rice with nearly every pea or bean known to man. My husband wasn't from rice country so I had to teach him all about peas and rice.

  5. Just found this recipe and will definitely try it. I love trying new bean recipes and this sounds good. From another type of southern girl - from the southern hemisphere (New Zealand) :)

  6. To be such a simple recipe, these peas had the best flavor I have tasted in a long time. Great job!

  7. Northern girls do black eyed peas and rice too. My husband loves them even more than I do, and we're both born and bred in the Pacific Northwet. Yeah, I leave the 's' out on purpose. Been a long winter.

  8. I've only eaten red beans and rice. My Arkansas momma and her relatives always cooked up a big cast iron skillet of corn bread. Break that up and spoon the peas over the corn bread... good lord, there is nothing better!
    But always leave some corn bread to break up in our milk too!

  9. Brined the peas instead of soaking in plain water (1.5 tablespoons of salt, 8 cups of water), and used two very small smoked turkey legs instead of ham hocks. Peas were the best ever--thanks for such a superb but simple recipe.

  10. Sounds delicious. I'm definitely going to try it.

  11. Black-eyed or crowder (field) peas -- they are all fine with me.

    Can you imagine having a father from Mississippi and a mother from Denmark - what a blend of cuisine we had!

    No skinny kids in the family...

  12. This is a great recipe--much simpler than another that I tried and far superior! I brined the peas instead of soaking them in plain water, and used a smoked turkey wing instead of a ham hock. They were perfectly creamy and delicious. Thanks for a wonderful recipe.

  13. You cook like my mama cooked. Simple, simple. Not a lot of fancy stuff. I cook my peas in chicken broth instead of water. Taste really scrumptious.

  14. Can I use bacon instead of ham hocks?

  15. I use smoked turkey tails. The flavor iis delish!

  16. Will frozen peas compromise this recipe if used?

  17. This the only way I have ever made these. This is old school southern cooking. It has been handed down from generation to generation. In my opinion, this is the only way to cook blackeyed peas!! 😁

  18. The instructions say to cook the black eyed peas for 4 hours, is that time correct?

    1. Actually it says 4 hours, trim the ham, and cook an additional hour. For a total of 5 hours.


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