Hoppin’ John Recipe: Southern-Style Black-Eyed Peas
This Hoppin’ John recipe has been in my family forever. I’d like to take the credit for it, but I can’t if I’m being honest. All I can do is play my part by carrying on the tradition of serving these Hoppin’ John black-eyed peas around New Year’s.
Bringing in the New Year with a big bowl of Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas) at my grandfather’s house is a New Year’s tradition in our family. Growing up in the South, we have such an abundance of black-eyed peas, crowder peas, cow peas, and butter beans from our gardens that we can freeze them for an entire year’s use. It is a staple in the Southern home and pairs well with fish and venison. It’s also suitable as a main dish, by itself, or served over rice. Some Southern Fried Cornbread makes a nice accompaniment.
May the New Year bring you many blessings!
By the way, you can find this recipe in my book!! I think you will love the fresh Southern recipes.
Making Hoppin’ John—Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas
Hoppin' John—Southern Style Black-Eyed Peas
- 1/2 pound bacon or ham hock cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons bacon drippings
- 1 vidalia onion chopped
- 5 stalks celery chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups (16 oz) heirloom fresh black-eyed peas
- 4 cups water or chicken stock add more water if needed
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups steamed white rice
- scallions for garnish
Soak black-eyed peas in cold water for 24-36 hours. Occasionally remove the scum that rises to the top of the water. Rinse halfway through the 24 hours, add more water to the pot, and repeat. Drain peas. (If you don't have time to soak your peas, place them in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat once it reaches a boil and let the peas stand for 1 hour. Drain and use recipe.)
If you're using bacon, place bacon in a large pot over medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove all but about 3 tablespoons of bacon drippings, but leave the bacon in the pan. If you are using a ham hock, heat bacon drippings in a pot. Add celery and 1 cup of onions to the pan/pot and sauté until soft (about 4 minutes). Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
Place black-eyed peas, chicken stock, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper into the pan. If you are using a ham hock, place it in the pot with the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and then lower to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until peas are creamy and tender. Stir occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water.
Meanwhile, cook the rice.
Once the peas are done, remove the ham hock and pull any meat off the bone and place the meat into the collards if you're serving with collards (which I highly suggest). Adjust seasonings and top with scallions. Serve over rice.