Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Black-Eyed Peas and Ham

Happy New Year !!!!!  I wish for all of you a prosperous and blessed year to come! 

New Year's day in our household always means black-eyed peas and ham to bring luck through the upcoming year.  Here is my basic, go-to recipe.

I start with dried black-eyed peas, cover with water and soak them overnight.

In a large Dutch oven fry two to three slices of thick bacon that have been diced.  I find that bacon is much easier to chop or dice if it has been placed in the freezer for awhile.  Fry until crisp and remove the bacon from the pot and drain on paper towels.  You can add the bacon back to the pot later but I usually snack on them and eat them all.

 Sauté chopped onion and garlic for a couple of minutes.

 Add water, black-eyed peas (that have been drained and rinsed), the bay leaf and ham hock.

Bring to a boil then turn down heat to a simmer.  After about 20 minutes add the cubed ham.  Continue simmering until beans are tender.  Remove ham hock, allow to cool, remove meat from bone and add back to beans.

Black-eyed Peas and Ham
 Yields 6-8 Servings

1 package (one pound) dried black-eyed peas
2-3 slices thick smoked bacon
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
8 cups water divided
smoked ham hock
1 bay leaf
1/2" thick slice of ham (approx. 3/4 lb)
2 cubes Knorr beef bouillon

Mise en place:
  • place beans in a large mixing bowl and cover with water and soak 4 hours or overnight
  • chop bacon
  • chop onion
  • mince garlic
  • cube ham
In a large Dutch oven fry bacon pieces until crisp.  Remove bacon bits to drain on paper towel.  Remove all but 2 Tbsp. of the bacon fat.  Sauté onion and garlic in bacon fat for several minutes.  Add 1 cup water and bring to brisk boil.  Boil for a minute or two and scrape up fond from the bacon.  Add rest of the water. 

Drain and rinse black-eyed peas and add to pot.  Add ham hock and bay leaf.  Bring to boil, scraping off any foam that may appear.  Lower heat and simmer.  After 20 minutes add cubed ham and bouillon cubes.  Continue simmering until beans are tender but not mushy; about 20 minutes more.

Remove bay leaf and ham hock.  Remove meat from hock and return to pot.  Serve with corn bread.

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