This is a robust one-pot dinner and favorite in the American south. Serve with some fluffy biscuits and mashed yams for true southern-style feast. It's also traditionally served on New Year's Day, because a plate of black-eyed peas is considered a harbinger of wealth and prosperity for the coming year.
- 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and sorted
- 1/4 pound bacon, cut into small pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 smoked ham hocks (about 1 lb. in total)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound collard greens
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Put the black-eye peas in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Let soak overnight at room temperature.
2. Drain the peas, rinse well, and drain again.
3. Dry the pot. Add the bacon and cook, stirring often, over medium-low heat, until the bacon is browned and the fat has rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the ham hocks, thyme, bay leaf, black-eyed peas and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, rinse the collared greens and remove the tough part of the stems. Coarsely chop the leaves. Add the collard leaves to the pot with the peas, and return the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the peas and greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and serve hot.
Recipe Notes and Tips
• If you'd like to quickly soak the peas, put them in a large pot and cover with cold water by 2-inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pan for the heat, cover and let stand for 1 1/2 hours. Drain the peas, rinse well, and drain again. The peas are now ready to be used.
• Black-eyed peas have a distinct, savory flavor and a crunchy exterior and soft interior texture. They hold up well to the strong-flavored ingredients that are in this dish, ham, garlic, and greens.
• Be sure to wash the collard greens well before using, as the leaves can have sand and grit on them. One good easy to do this is to fill a sink with cold water and submerge the leafy greens in the water. Slosh them around and then drain the sink. Repeat if necessary.