- One 16-ounce bag dried black-eyed peas, washedÂ and sorted but not soaked
- One 10-to 12-ounce smoked ham hock
- 6 cups cold water (about)
- 1Â˝ teaspoons salt
- Â˝ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
On New Yearâ€™s Day, Southerners feast upon blackeyedÂ peas (for good luck), collard greens (forÂ prosperity), and hog jowl or other cut of pork (forÂ robust health). Itâ€™s an old and convivial custom.
- Place the black-eyed peas and ham hock inÂ a large, heavy saucepan, then add justÂ enough cold water to cover by 1Â˝ inches.
- Stir in the salt and pepper, set overÂ moderately high heat, and bring to a boil.
- Adjust the heat so that the water bubblesÂ gently, set the pan lid on askew (to minimizeÂ â€śboiloversâ€ť), and simmer, stirringÂ occasionally, for 40 to 45 minutes or until theÂ beans are soft, almost all the water hasÂ boiled away, and the mixture has aÂ porridge-y consistency. Note: If at any pointÂ the beans threaten to boil dry as they cook,Â add a little additional cold water.
- Â Drain off any excess cooking water (thereÂ should be little, if any), then remove the hamÂ hock, strip off the meat (there wonâ€™t beÂ much), and cut into small pieces. Stir theÂ meat back into the black-eyed peas.
- Serve hot with roast pork, Classic Collards,Â and corn bread fresh from the oven.