Oysters and Southern Black-Eyed Peas
02 January 2020
By Ronda
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This New Year's Day fare and recipe by Jan Roden is featured in my book Entertaining at Home. Black-eyed peas are a traditional New Year’s Day dish. The peas are believed to bring good luck and prosperity throughout the year. For a full meal, serve with a pan of cornbread and a pot of greens. Collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are all excellent options.

The customary good-luck fare includes—black-eyed peas (prosperity), leafy greens (money), pork (progress), seafood (abundance), and cornbread (gold).


Southern Black-Eyed Peas with Ham Hock

Serves 12 

2 pounds dried black-eyed peas

1 large smoked ham hock

1 large yellow onion, diced

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

4 bay leaves

2 cups unsalted vegetable stock


Rinse the beans thoroughly, removing any pebbles or other debris. Add the beans to a large bowl. Add cold water to cover by at least 4 inches. Soak the beans overnight.

The following day, drain the water and rinse the beans. Place the rinsed beans, ham hock, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and bay leaves in a large stockpot. Add just enough water to cover the beans, then add the vegetable stock.

Bring the beans to a boil. Reduce heat to a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 1 hour. 

Remove the beans from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Transfer the ham hock to a cutting board. When cool enough to touch, remove the outside skin and the bone. Dice the meat and return it to the pot with the beans. Serve the beans in a tureen with a slotted spoon.


 © Photo Michael Hunter