Hoppin' John - Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Recipe:
Bean soak time: 1 to 2 hours 

Stove top cook time: 3 hours

Slow Cooker cook time: 8 hours on low heat

Course: Lunch
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: Black-Eyed Peas and Rice Recipe, Hoppin' John History and Recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 cups black-eyed peas, dried
  • 1 pound lean slab bacon or 1 pound meaty ham hocks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth*
  • 2 cups long-grain white rice, uncooked
  • 1 bunch collard greens, washed, stems removed, and leaves torn**
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Black-eyed peas have a characteristic black spot, or "eye," on their cream-colored skin and are among the most recognizable legumes.  Soaking is not essential for black-eyed peas, but cooking time can be shortened if they get a quick soak in hot water (as opposed to a longer one in cold water, like other beans).  You can prepare black eyed peas many different ways, but they are best when cooked with a pork product.

  2. Before preparing the black-eyed peas, sort through them thoroughly for tiny pebbles or other debris.  Soak, rinse, and drain dried black-eyed peas.  Place black-eyed peas in a large soup pot over medium-high heat and cover with cold water; bring just to a boil.  Remove from heat; cover and let stand 1 to 2 hours.  Drain and rinse beans.

  3. If using bacon meat, heat bacon in skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until partially cooked; remove bacon from skillet and set aside.  Drain most of the bacon fat and leave some in skillet to coat the bottom.  Add onions and garlic and saute for a couple minutes until onions appear translucent.  If you are using ham hocks, then use olive oil in the skillet to saute onions.

  4. Stove Top Preparation:

  5. Using the same large soup pot, over medium-high heat, add soaked black-eyed peas, partially cooked bacon or ham hock, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Add chicken broth; bring just to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the peas are tender (do not boil as the beans will burst).

  6. Remove bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces.  Return meat to pot.  Stir in rice and collard greens; cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

  7. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  8. Slow Cooker Preparation:

  9. Preheat Slow Cooker.

  10. To the slow cooker, add soaked black-eyed peas, partially cooked bacon or ham hock, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Add chicken broth and stir everything together.  Cover with lid and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 to 5 hours until the peas are tender.

  11. Lift the lid and remove the bacon or ham hock and cut into bite-size pieces.  Return meat to pot.

  12. Stir in rice and collard greens; cover, and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

  13. Remove from heat, stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  14. Happy New Year!

  15. Makes 8 servings.

Recipe Notes

* Learn how easy it is to make your own homemade Chicken Stock - Basic Chicken Stock.

** Collards:  When buying collards, make sure to choose dark green leaves with no wilting or yellowness.  Fresh collard greens may be stored in a plastic bag in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.  To prepared the greens, tear each leaf from its thick center stems; discard stems.  Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand.  The tender young leaves in the heart of the collard greens do not need to be stripped.  Discard all stems.  Set collard greens aside until ready to cook.  

Learn about the history of Collard Greens (Mess O' Greens).