Stewed Black-Eyed Peas
Source of Recipe
From "Sweet Home Café Cookbook" by Albert Lukas
"Southerners believe that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day will bring them good luck and prosperity in the coming year, with the peas symbolizing coins and the usual side dish of greens representing folding money. To give this simple legume side dish a bolder flavor, use the Ham and Pork Stock in place of the chicken stock. For a meat-free variation, leave out the ham hocks and substitute vegetable stock for the cooking liquid."
List of Ingredients
◦ 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
◦ 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
◦ 2 small or 1 large smoked ham hock
◦ 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
◦ 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
◦ 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
◦ 1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced
◦ 2 tablespoons tomato paste
◦ 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
◦ 4 cups chicken stock
◦ 3 bay leaves
The night before:
Sort through the black-eyed peas to remove any debris and stones. Place the beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a large soup pot and cover with cold water. The water level should reach at least 2 inches above the beans.
Leave to soak overnight.
The next day:
Drain and rinse the peas and reserve. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat, add the ham hocks, and lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the ham hocks and reserve.
Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño and cook for another 3 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook for 3 minutes more, allowing the paste to develop a rich flavor and color.
Now add the crushed tomatoes, black-eyed peas, chicken stock, reserved ham hocks, and bay leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for about 45 minutes, until the peas are tender. Skim off any froth that develops during the cooking process.
Remove the ham hocks, let cool until they can be handled, then peel off the skin and remove the meat from the bones. Roughly chop the meat, return it to the pot, heat, through, and serve.
Serves 6 to 8
❧ Chef's Note:
For those who don't eat pork, two smoked turkey wings can be substituted for the ham hocks. Serve the peas either as a side dish or as an entrée with corn bread or Johnnycakes.