How to Cook Black-Eyed Peas
One of my earliest memories is of my mother on New Year's Day. I couldn't have been more than four or five years old because I also remember my brother as a baby. Mom was making black-eyed peas and mashing a few for my brother. "It's for good luck," she was saying. And I've had black-eyed peas on New Year's Day every year of my life.
We're Southern, which means we eat them all year, even though the tradition is fun. Black-eyed peas signify luck when eaten on the New Year, but the flavor is fabulous and mild, so don't save them for the holiday.
Traditionally they are served hot with hot sauce, cornbread, and collard or turnip greens. I love using them in mixed bean salads and salsas as well. They are loaded with fiber and nutrients, trace minerals vitamins, so I throw them in all kinds of things.
Best of all, they are super inexpensive. Most groceries in my area sell a pound of dried beans for $1 or less, and my favorite discount outlet has them as low as $.79 most of the time. So this recipe can come in for under .25 a serving. That's a rockstar in my book.
Give this simple recipe a shot: You'll be hooked on how easy it is to make this rich, comforting favorite Southern dish!
- 1 cup black eyed peas, dried
- 4 cups water, (or broth)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- Place black-eyed peas in a medium saucepan, and cover with four cups of water. You can also use chicken or ham broth, and those are both great, but I love the mild flavor of black-eyed peas, and mostly use just water.
- Add salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, bacon drippings and black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half.
- Taste and adjust for seasonings. You may want a bit more salt or cayenne, or you can serve the black eyed peas with a little green onion or hot sauce. You can also use them cold in salads - I love that!
Why the Difference in Cooking Time?
Most of the time black-eyed peas take about an hour, but that really depends on how dry the dried beans are. If they are relatively fresh, they can take as little as 45 minutes. The longer the beans sit in storage the drier they become, and the longer they take to become fully tender. I've had batches that took almost two hours, but as a general rule of thumb, 1 to 1 1/2 hours will do the trick. The same principle applies to most dried beans.
Have You Tried This Recipe?
© 2018 Jan Charles