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Lucky Black Eyed Peas

So my big plans for New Years Eve fell through when I managed to come down with TWO colds in one week–culminating in a horrible cough on Saturday that made it impossible to sleep, eat, and generally do anything except beg Chris to make me more tea. Our New Years Eve party turned into a New Years Day brunch, which was cancelled when my fever refused to break late Saturday. No one loves brunch h’ordeuvres when they come with a side of winter cold.

But you can’t have New Years without black-eyed peas. Having bought everything already, Chris stepped up and prepped the New Years tradition while I slept through the afternoon. Waking around 5, I felt good enough to play with the seasoning and make some rice to add in at the end–and we ended up with a fantastic, meaty soup that did wonders to the remnants of my colds.

One alternation I made to our soup was using a Ham Neck Bone instead of a Ham Hock, basically because it was the only thing Giant had at the store on Saturday. We prepared it the same way, and while there was still a bit of meat on the neck bone, there were a lot of tiny bone pieces that got caught up in the final soup. It was also more fatty than a ham hock, but not that noticeable once you were eating the soup.

Black Eyed Peas
Based on a recipe from Serious Eats

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • a handful of chili pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 smoked ham hock, about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight in cold water, then drained
  • 1/2 Tablespoon salt
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 c. rice
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat the oil in the pot and sweat the onion over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the celery and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the hock and enough water to cover the hock completely. Add the chili peppers, bay leaf, thyme, and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook for 1 hour.
  3. After 1 hour, add the black-eyed peas to the pot and put the pot back into the oven, this time uncovered. Add in the salt, cumin and pepper. Cook for another 1 1/2 hours, or until the beans and pork are tender.
  4. Prepare the rice as directed. Once soup has cooled, remove the ham bones, cutting away any meat to put back in the soup. At this point, season again as needed with salt and pepper. Add in rice once cooked, and serve.
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