How to Make Black-eyed Peas

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Black-eyed Peas are a must for many on New Year’s Day, as they are said to bring good luck in the New Year. Whether or not that’s true, they will definitely bring you warmth and goodness anytime you cook them. A Louisiana and Southern tradition since the early days of our country, Black-eyed Peas are comfort food as rich in tradition as they are in flavor. Here is Sweet Daddy D’s simple, no-angst recipe for Black-eyed Peas, simmered in rich stock with Creole seasoning and Andouille Sausage. Serve this over rice for memorable and traditional New Year’s fare, but I bet you’ll end up wanting these year-round.

Black-eyed Peas with Smothered Cabbage and Baked Ham on a paper plate
Black-eyed Peas with Smothered Cabbage and Baked Ham

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Here’s What You Need

Simple ingredients, but packed with flavor. A pound of dry black-eyed peas is the center of attention. Starting off with some andouille sausage fried in bacon grease, then adding yellow onions, bell peppers and green onions create a homey base for this major comfort food. The aromatics are added by garlic (both whole and chopped) and the Herb and Spice Blend of Creole Seasoning, thyme (a natural partner to most beans), ground black pepper, bay leaves and kosher salt. It’s all simmered in rich chicken stock.

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Here’s What You Do

First…you have a beer. The long term prep is whether or not to soak the beans. To help you decide, check out my article on soaking or not soaking. If you decide to soak, just follow which ever method suits you. This is a simple recipe, so have a beer and read the whole thing. Gather the ingredients, slice the sausage, chop the vegetables (actually chop 3 or 4 garlic cloves and smash the other two with your knife blade), measure out the herbs and spices and the chicken stock. You have completed your mise en place-have another beer.

Fry Sausage and Veggies

If you have some bacon grease on hand, use it; if not, fry 3 or 4 slices of bacon to render the fat in a heavy bottom dutch oven. Use the bacon grease to fry off the sliced andouille sausage for tremendous double barrel flavor. Once the sausage is browned, add the yellow onions and bell peppers and saute until they are softening and starting to brown-about 8 to 10 minutes.

sausage, onions, peppers in a stock pot for black-eyed peas
Add the onions and peppers to the fried sausage

Next go the aromatics…add the green onions and chopped garlic and saute a couple of minutes until you start to smell the garlic. Add the Herb and Spice Blend (all except the bay leaves and salt). If things are sticking to the bottom, deglaze with a little chicken stock and stir all that goodness into the veggies.

sausage and vegetables in a stock pot for black-eyed peas
Fry the sausage and vegetables in bacon grease
Add the Black-eyed’s and stock

By now the pot should be a nice batch of sausage and some onions starting to give up some sugar, so it’s an aromatic mix of browning goodness. Discard the soaking water from the Black-eyed Peas and mix the peas into the pot. Stir this around really well to coat all the peas and let them saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in the chicken stock and increase the heat until it boils. Add in the Bay Leaves and the whole (smashed) garlic cloves and keep it on full boil for about 5 minutes.

black-eyed peas in stock
Add the peas then the stock to the sausage and vegetables

Lower the heat to a simmer, stir occasionally until it begins to thicken and the peas are soft which should be about 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. Cover the pot if its getting too thick while the peas soften. If any foam gathers at the top, simply scoop it off with a spoon. Taste the peas to see if they need more spices. 

black-eyed peas in a stock pot
Black-eyed Peas

Up to this point, you haven’t added any salt, so they may be a little bland, just add kosher salt to taste. When ready to serve, remove the Bay Leaves and ladle some over rice.

That’s it, all there is to it, simple as that.

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Hints and Tips

  • Andouille sausage adds an authentic flavor dimension, but you can substitute any smoked sausage you like.
  • Hold off on adding any salt until the peas are cooked, then taste and add salt to taste.
  • Black-eyed peas were brought to the West Indies from West Africa by slaves around 1674. It’s easy to see how they made their way to Louisiana and the rest of the South.
  • Black-eyed peas were looked upon as inferior and thus ignored by the Northern Army during the Civil War. As one of the only remaining crops, Black-eyed peas became an important part of the Southern diet during and after the Civil War.
  • Black-eyed Peas became a New Years tradition, one school of thought is that they bring wealth as the little peas symbolized coins, there are other ideas as well
  • Are they really peas? No…read a little more about that here.
  • Black-eyed peas are low in fat and calories and offer some substantial health benefits.

Here are some other recipes from Sweet Daddy D which you will like:

Red Beans and Rice

Baked Ham

Black-eyed Peas with Smothered Cabbage and Baked Ham on a paper plate
Black-eyed Peas with Smothered Cabbage and Baked Ham, A New Years Tradition

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Here’s how you can get some Camellia Brand Black-eyed Peas and some Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock-they are simply the best and all that I use.

Yeah You Right!

 

stewed black-eyed peas
Sweet Daddy D's Black-eyed Peas
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
They may bring you good luck in the New Year, but they will definitely bring you warmth and goodness anytime you cook this southern tradition.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
2 Hours 241
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
2 Hours 241
stewed black-eyed peas
Sweet Daddy D's Black-eyed Peas
Votes: 1
Rating: 5
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
They may bring you good luck in the New Year, but they will definitely bring you warmth and goodness anytime you cook this southern tradition.
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
2 Hours 241
Servings Prep Time
12 servings 15 Minutes
Cook Time Calories per Serving
2 Hours 241
This is What You Need
Herb and Spice Blend
This is What You Do
  1. In a heavy dutch oven, brown off the sausage in the bacon grease over medium high heat
  2. Add the yellow onions and bell peppers until softened and starting to brown.
  3. Add the green onions and chopped garlic and saute a couple of minutes until the garlic is aromatic
  4. Deglaise the pot with a little of the chicken stock, if needed.
  5. Add the herb and spice blend (Note-don't salt until the end), except the bay leaves and mix well
  6. Drain the soaking water from the peas and discard; add the soaked peas to the dutch oven, mix well and saute for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the chicken stock, stir well and increase heat to a boil.
  8. Add the bay leaves and whole garlic cloves.
  9. Cook at a rolling boil for 5 minutes, then lower heat to simmer and continue on low simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Spoon off any foam that gathers on top.
  10. Stir occasionally until beginning to thicken and peas are soft. Taste for seasoning and salt and add as needed.
  11. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice.
Recipe Notes

Andouille sausage adds an authentic flavor dimension, but you can substitute any smoked sausage you like.

Hold off on adding any salt until the peas are cooked, then taste and add salt to taste.

 

 

Nutrition Facts
Sweet Daddy D's Black-eyed Peas
Amount Per Serving
Calories 241 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 33mg 11%
Sodium 633mg 26%
Potassium 376mg 11%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 11g 44%
Sugars 3g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 11%
Vitamin C 41%
Calcium 5%
Iron 21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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