Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr
If you want Hoppin' John, serve this over white rice & mix it up. Otherwise, it goes well with just about any meat. I use Ham Hock Stock in this recipe, but you can use low sodium chicken stock instead if you'd like. If you want it to be vegetarian, just leave out the bacon & use 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead, and substitute vegetable stock for the ham hock stock. If you do not use ham hock stock, I recommend using liquid smoke to give them a smoky flavor.
- 1⁄4 lb smoked bacon, cut in 1/2-inch dice
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 fresh jalapeno, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb dried black-eyed peas, sorted for stones & debris
- 1 cup diced tomato
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 6 cups ham hock stock
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon liquid smoke
- NOTE: I DO NOT recommend skipping the step of sorting the peas! You would be surprised what you find in them sometimes - I myself have found several small stones/rocks, and one time I found a metal screw, so beware, or make sure your dental insurance is up to date.
- In a large pot, fry bacon until browned.
- Add onion, celery and jalapeno and a little olive oil, if things look too dry. Saute vegetables over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the dried peas, tomatoes, pepper, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, sugar & ham hock stock. If you are using low sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock, now is the time to add the liquid smoke.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, simmer & cover. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally and checking to see if they need water (liquid should just cover peas). Check to see if they're done to your liking. If not, simmer some more. When they are done, remove bay leaf and remove 1/2 cup of the peas to a small bowl. Mash these peas so they form a chunky paste. Return mashed peas to the other peas in the pot and stir so they are well mixed.
- Add salt to taste - A NOTE ON THE AMOUNT OF SALT TO USE: I use home made ham hock stock in this, and the saltiness of the stock can vary considerably depending on the saltiness of the hocks. Always taste the stock you have before using it in a dish, and taste the dish itself before adding any salt. You can always add more salt, but you can't take it out.