Hoppin’ John Black Eyed Peas

This is a traditional New Year’s dish in the Low Country (Charleston, South Carolina area).

Ingredients

  • Bag of dry black-eyed peas soaked for 8 hours or or overnight
  • Four pieces of thick bacon– cut crosswise into four pieces of four
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 sticks of celery chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced or minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed and then chopped
  • 2 ham hocks
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Water

Directions

  1. In large Dutch oven fry bacon long enough to render most of the fat but not long enough to crisp
  2. Sautee all the vegetables
  3. Add seasonings
  4. When onions have started to go transparent and other vegetables have begun to lose their bulk from cooking, drain the beans and add them to the vegetables
  5. Cover with water and start bringing to the boil on top of the stove
  6. While beans are warming up microwave ham hocks for three or four minutes to give them a head start which they need as they otherwise would not be done when the beans are ready
  7. Add ham hocks and submerge in the beans
  8. Put a sheet of aluminum foil over the Dutch oven and then put the top on. The foil makes a tight seal and also keeps the underside of the lid clean
  9. Pop into a 325 degree oven and cook for 40 minutes to an hour until the desired consistency is obtained. At that point the beans are still separate and not mushy. If you like a thicker consistency mash some of them against the side of the Dutch oven with a wooden spoon.

Note: Pairs well with Chardonnay.

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