Saturday, November 30, 2013

Soul Food-Style Black-eyed Peas with Ham - Video Recipe

The most flavorful pot of beans you'll ever cook up is featured in the Cheap$kate Chef's latest stop motion animated video recipe.

Call it Southern-style, Low Country, or Soul Food, and by adding a ham hock or a leftover ham bone, you raise a humble pot of beans to a whole other flavor profile. If you are cheap like me then you froze the ham bone from that less-than-a-dollar per pound holiday Shank Half Ham.

And for the upcoming New Year's Day Celebration, my Black-eyed Peas just need some rice to make the Southern traditional Hoppin' Johns. You can cook some rice (about 20 minutes of simmering, covered) with the finished Black-eyed Peas or steam the rice separately and add the Black-eyed Peas when you are ready to celebrate.

You'll be surprised by all the ham you can pull off the bone, after it has simmered in the pot of beans for a couple of hours. Just watch my latest recipe video of Soul Food-Style Black-eyed Peas with Ham to see what I mean.

Cooking with leftover smoked pork is how they do it in the South, heck, I'm sure that's how they do it everywhere. (If you don't have a leftover ham bone or ham hock, it's okay to use a few slices of bacon or any cheap smoked pork or turkey meat, like: neck bones, tail, leg and wing.)

This recipe can be applied to most any type of dried beans: black, white, red, pinto, lima, green pea, lentil, etc. Only the cooking time will vary -- beans like pinto and black beans need 3 to 4 hours, while lentils cook through in half an hour. Make sure to read the package directions for cooking times.

Surprisingly Black-eyed Peas are more expensive than the average legume, over a dollar and a half per pound -- at least in Los Angeles grocery stores. Maybe they are cheaper in the South? Well, I got mine with a dollar coupon from Ralphs, so my recipe hits all my cheap$kate price points. Even at full price you'll get half a dozen servings, so it's still a tasty budget recipe. I also used an onion, one bay leaf, and some chopped garlic -- all inexpensive ingredients.

My friend, Miss Patti, showed me how to make Cajun-Style Vegetarian Red Beans. So if you are meat averse, then click here to see that video recipe post, so you make Black-eyed Peas your way.

For your next homemade pot of beans on a cold winter day, go with The 99 Cent Chef's smoked pork addition -- you'll drive your household crazy with the tantalizing aroma that comes with slow cooking Soul Food-Style Black-eyed Peas with Ham.

Blackeyed Peas with Ham - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 2 minutes, 21 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • Ingredients (about 6 servings)
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 leftover ham bone or ham hock - You are going for the smoked pork flavor. Okay to use 4 slices of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces. You can brown the bacon first and add the amount of bacon fat you feel comfortable with. Also, okay to use a small ham steak cut into cubes, or any cheap smoked meat.
  • 1 whole large onion - or 2 small onions, white or yellow.
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic - fresh or from jar.
  • 1 stalk celery - optional
  • 8 cups of water - add more if needed during cooking.
  • Salt and pepper to taste - or any favorite seasoned salt, like Creole Seasoning.

Check black-eyed peas for pebbles or discolored peas and discard. Rinse off back-eyed peas.

Add black-eyed peas and  ham bone, ham hock, or bacon, to a large pot with 8 cups of water.

Chop onion and celery into 1 inch pieces. Add to pot of peas. Season with salt and pepper or Cajun Seasoning.

Bring the pot of peas to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover pot and cook about 2 hours. Check and stir every half hour or so. (Add water should it cook out, for whatever reason.)

Black-eyed Peas should be tender. Remove ham bone or ham hock (no need to take out bacon) and peel off the meat. Add the ham pieces back to the pot, mix well, and low simmer uncovered another half hour.

That's it. Pretty simple to make and you can use this recipe for any of your favorite dried legumes, including: red, white or black beans, pinto, lentils and green peas. Cooking time will vary as some beans need 3 to 4 hours of low simmering. Dried lentils cook the fastest - about 30 minutes.

For vegetarian black-eyed peas, click here for Miss Patti's Red Beans recipe. Basically you're adding chopped veggies like: bell pepper, celery, onions, and green onions. To get a slightly smoky ham hock flavor, try adding half a teaspoon of liquid smoke from a bottle


Unknown said...

Thanks for this recipe I want to make this for New Years Eve. I forgot how my Grand mom use to make it, but it was delicious!

Unknown said...

New Orleans girl, here, born and raised. I just wanted to share an important tip when cooking Cajun and soul food dishes. To get that "flavor", you're going to want to brown all your seasoning first instead of just throwing them in the boiling water. Firstly, brown the bacon. Take out the bacon then sauté the onion, garlic, peppers, celery in the bacon fat. Another tip to boost flavor would be to use chicken broth in place of water. The steps you take are just as important as the ingredients.

This is what sets a pot of southern style stew apart from a northern style stew. The same ingredients are used, it's the way you cook it that makes it different.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

"Caramelization" is the secret to southern food. No roux, no drippings, no good.

Wireless.Phil said...

Our hocks are smoked and so salty you couldn't eat them.
Second, if you put someting salty, or salt the dry bean water, your beans will never get tender enough to enjoy them, they have to be cooked separate.

All real home cooks know this eventually.

99 Cent Chef said...

hi Wireless Phil, the hocks I get work fine. If you were right then nobody could stand cooking with ham hocks (or cured ham for that matter). Any Southern cook has known this for generations.

I've used dry beans with salt for years and they get tender fine. Cook any beans long enough (with any salty seasonings) and they will get tender. I'm a home cook and I know this is a fact. You are mistaken, just think about it, cook anything in water long enough and it will get fall-apart tender, it's simple science, right?

Here's an interesting article that addresses the beans and salt myth:

faryal naaz said...

I have enjoyed it from your blog and looking forward to see more from you.
Soul Food

ghettosaralee said...

I made this recipe on New Year's. I didn't have ham hocks so I used bacon plus the ham we had left over from Christmas. The recipe was easy to follow and it was quick and easy. Thank you for this

Cozmicpunch said...

I have made this recipe for the last few years. The only additions I made were bay leaves and bellpepper. Thank you so much for an excellent easy to follow recipe and helping me get my luck in for the New Year

Dana Blu said...

Trying this recipe for Thanksgiving 2019. Will try to follow it to a tee. Hoping that I can find the smoked ham hocks. Also, that idea of caramelizing sounds great!

Unknown said...

Thank You For The Receipt. I'm Making It Right Now.

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