Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Celebrate the New Year with the Black-Eyed Peas - Let's Get it Started!

I know I just posted an Italian alternative to the New Years' beans and greens, eaten to bring prosperity in 2009, but I figured I'd better do a more traditional version. I am the American food expert on About.com after all, and it would have been bad form not to post a real black-eyed peas recipe today.

This is a very old tradition, and I don't mean like pre-civil war American south
old, I mean really, really old. There are records of black-eyed peas being eaten for good luck on New Year's Day all the way back to ancient Babylonia. For you kids out there, that's way before even cell phones were invented!

This video recipe you are about to visually consume is a variation on something called "Hoppin' John," which is black-eyed peas, rice, and pork stewed together, usually served with some kind of greens and cornbread. For your convenience, and my pageviews, I suggest also clicking on my cornbread recipe video and doing this thing right.

I want to wish you all a Happy New Year! May your 2009 be filled with happiness, new experiences, and exciting challenges. 2008 was a very hard year for everyone, but I have it on a pretty reliable source (a Chef's intuition is a powerful thing) that this coming year will be a lot better. Until then, I'll leave you with this thought - the tougher times are, the better food tastes. Enjoy!

1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight
3 strips bacon, sliced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound pork neck bones
6 oz smoked ham, diced
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrot
3 cloves chopped garlic
6 cups water
1 (10-oz can) diced tomato with green chilis
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp black pepper
cayenne to taste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 large bunch kale, leaves torn
cooked rice


Connie T. said...

This looks good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, looks great! I haven't had black eyed peas in over 30 years (and I've never had kale). Now I've just got to get out from under this rock and get to the store for the ingredients.

Anonymous said...

looks good, making it as i speak... but i threw in a nice chunk of ham hock to pork up that flavor... i'll try to take a pic and send it over to you... wooo for prosperity!

Chef John said...

love the hock

admin said...

My 5 year old came home from school one day and said 'daddy, I know you are proud of me'.

Why? What did you you do? I asked her.

"Today at school, I ate blacked eyed beans (she's 5, that's close enough). I ask my teacher if these are healthy and she said yes, and I said I was going to eat them to make my daddy proud."

Anyway, I requested a hoppin' john recipe about 6 months ago. I'll be trying this recipe tomorrow.


Angie ^i^ said...

I made this today for tomorrow since I'll be gone most of the day and I want dinner to be ready when we get home (Crock potting the corned beef, cabbage and potatoes while we're away)... ANYWAY... I refused to go BACK to the store today and I didn't have any greens (collards are my favorite), nor did I have any cumin, pork neck or ham.. but I did have salt pork (not a great substitute but it had to do in a pinch). I have tell you though, even with my substitutions and omissions, the flavor of this is AMAZING!!! I was skeptical at first (okay, I was skeptical during the entire process as I don't like "gunk" messin up my beans/peas ~ I usually make them with JUST bacon or salt pork.. nothing else), but I'm SO GLAD I tried this! It gets 5*****'s on the YUMMY ratings!!! Thank you Chef John for opening my eyes to try something new.

Greg said...

Psssst...Chef John,

I think the satanic bean boy made you forget to list the Thyme on the ingredients list.

Happy New Year

Chef John said...

ur right!

Blood Red Roses said...

Soul food!!! This recipe looks so savory!

My mom made these last night from fresh black eyed peas and it was subtly better than dried (also no gas with the fresh beans).

Anonymous said...


about you wondering why black eyed beans are compared with coins - some earlier coins had a circular hole in the center - to help stacking up, stringing 100's together etc. black-eyed beans also look like having a hole in the center, hence the comparison.

DeLynn said...

Had this last night... AH-Mazing! And the butternut squash ravioli too.... HOLY SHENANIGANS it was good!!!

Chef John said...

Holey Coins Batman! Thanks.

Mike said...

I gave this a try tonight. A couple of days late, but I still feel prosperous.

Only change I made was chipotle instead of cayenne because I didn't have any. It worked out well because my ham was lightly smoked.

I don't say this lightly when i say this is one of the best recipe I ever followed. It is so good. Thank you Chef John.

Unknown said...

Black-eyed peas...let's get it started. :) That one made me laugh. Looks delicious!

Peg said...

I recently moved to the south and am clueless on all of this type of cooking...I never heard of this on New Years - I thought EVERYONE had pork and sauerkraut on New Years (which, btw, no one down here had ever even heard of that combination). This is a life saver.

I absolutley LOVE your blog and recipes...they are worth watching for the entertainment value alone! You have your own folder in my favorites. Can't wait to try all of these!

Kilyena said...

This is a fabulous recipe!!! It makes a lot. I didn't add the greens to the beans, rather I put them in a separate bowl and those who wanted to add them could (I like my greens and - I used collards - with vinegar and a little sugar. I bought 2 lbs. of smoked pork neck bones and 3 large ham hocks (because we love our meat) to a boil and (I did not brown them because they are smoked; I omitted the smoked ham), cooked them in water until tender, adding additional water as needed but let the liquid cook down during the last hour to concentrate it because I wanted the flavor of the broth to add to the beans. To save time I cooked the beans separately (with the bay leaf and sauteed veggies)the last hour letting the liquid cook down. Poured the reserved liquid from the meat and added to the beans along with the rest of the ingredients. I removed the meat from the bone and cut into bite size pieces. I did have to change things a bit because I used smoked meat - our favorite. I did serve over rice but honestly, the rice isn't necessary. It's good and hearty with or without the rice. I served with some southern southwestern corn bread. Let me say, OMG DELICIOUS!! I froze leftovers after the 2nd day because I am looking forward to this in the weeks to come! Thank you Chef John for yet another fabulous recipe!