In the south, it is traditional to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. Pundits say it brings “good luck” for the upcoming year and I am not one to tempt fate.
I normally soak the dried peas overnight and then cook the peas over simmering heat with a ham hock. This year, I tried something different:
- I followed Rancho Gordo’s instructions for cooking beans and peas by cooking the unsoaked black-eyed peas in boiling waters for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to a simmer. Cook until the desired firmness. Note: Rancho Gordo generally recommends soaking, but it is really not necessary.
- As the photograph indicates, I served the peas over sliced collard greens with some sliced Edward’s ham and cornbread.
- Love the taste of the collard greens rather than rice and it is a lot healthier.
- Rather than the ham hock, I added sliced pork belly which had been previously baked. Personally, I think the ham hock adds more flavor.
Black-Eyed Peas with No Soaking
- 1 pound black-eyed peas dry
- 2 cloves
- 1 ham hock (small) pork belly optional
- 1 red onion (medium size) halved or whole
- salt and pepper
- Place UNSOAKED black-eyed peas in a pot of water with the whole onion and cloves and quickly bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, boil briskly for 10 ro 15 minutes and then reduce heat to a simmer.
- Cook until the peas are firm, but not mushy. This depends on people’s preferences, but the peas should be cooked with 90 to 120 minutes.
- Remove ham hock and onion. Shred the ham hack meat off the bone and reincorporate into the black-eyed peas. Discard the onion and cloves.
- Optional. Garnish with sliced onions, jalapeno or dried red peppers. Season with wine vinegar.
There are few things better than a well-seasoned piece of pork. The Italians have perfected it to a science, but in the United States, you can also usually find great cured pork. Unless you are lucky to be dining at a Michael Chang restaurant, I have discovered that Edward’s hams are particularly tasty.