Black-Eyed Pea Stew
Black-Eyed Peas were brought to America with slaves from Africa and became popular in the Civil War days during the battle of Vicksburg. The Black Eyed Pea was referred to back then as "cow peas", as that is what was fed to the cows. During the Civil War, when Vicksburg was under siege by the Union Army, the people were forced to eat the "cow pea." Since then, the black eyed pea has become a popular, traditional food of the South. This uniquely Southern recipe for black eyed peas is lip-smacking good and full of flavor! Its funny how some kids grow up loving foods other kids wouldn't eat on a bet. So it was with me and black eyed peas. My mom's version, this dish was adjusted to my dad's taste, achieving some seriously delectable results...and becoming one of my all-time favorites."We made this a few days ago. We didn't stray from the recipe at all except for putting it in the slow-cooker as we didn't have time to babysit it. It turned out with a beautiful soup consistancy without adding more stock. We both agreed on one thing, this is one of the tastiest dishes we have ever had. Thank you once again Sqrishka." - Mr_D
Yield: 6 Servings Ready in 45 minutes
favorite of 801 people 606 people want to try
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|1 largeHam hock; ham shank, or ham bone|
|2 tablespoonsVegetable oil|
|1 poundSmoked sausage; hot sausage, andouille, bacon, ham, or other smoked pork|
|1 largeYellow onion; chopped|
|1 largeGreen bell pepper; chopped|
|1 Jalapeno pepper; finely chopped (or 2) (optional)|
|2 tablespoonsGarlic; minced|
|1/2 teaspoonFreshly ground black pepper|
|2 Bay Leaves|
|1 poundDried black-eyed peas; rinsed and picked over|
|2 quartsHam stock; low-sodium chicken stock, or water|
|1/2 cupFresh flat-leaf parsley; chopped|
Black-Eyed Pea Stew Preparation
Wash peas, spread out on towel and check for derbies (you don't have to soak the peas). With a sharp knife, score the skin and fat on the ham hocks with 1/4-inch-deep slashes.
Heat the oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ham hocks, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and stock. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and bring down to a medium simmer, cooking uncovered for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime, slice the sausage into 1/2" pieces and brown in a heavy skillet. (If using bacon, don't cook it until it's crisp.) Add sausage to the beans, continue a medium simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 45 to 60 minutes more, or until the peas are creamy and tender (skim off any foam that forms on the surface). Add additional stock if necessary.
Remove the bay leaves and discard. Cut the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the skin and bones. Return the meat to the pot, stir in the parsley and heat through, about 5 minutes. Check seasonings. Serve with cooked long-grain white rice, corn bread or corn muffins.
May be served over rice as a main course, as a side dish, or thinned with ham or chicken stock and served as a soup, as desired.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
The naturally smoky flavor of black-eyed peas blends well with a wide range of smoked meats and sausages, not just the traditional choice of pork. Try any one, or combinations of your favorits, e.g., smoked turkey wings, legs, or sausage, smoked beef ribs, etc.
If available, be sure to use your own homemade stock for the richest most flavorful results.
By the way, the black eyed pea is not actually a pea at all, but is in the lentil family.
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