Hoppin’ John is a New Year’s Day tradition! Popular in the south, black eyed peas are eaten with greens in the New Year for good luck. The peas represent coin and greens “add to the wealth”. The dish is sometimes served with a coin inside or under the bowls. (Personally I’d go with under the bowl). Either way, simmering a pot of beans on the stove is a great dish to serve on New Year’s Day. You could even prep the vegetables the day before for an easy dinner. There are so many variations on black eyed peas and it’s easy to adapt to different diets. Traditionally, it is made with bacon, ham hock, or sausage, but vegetarian versions are just as good.
A base of diced carrots, onions, and celery or bell peppers is usually used for Hoppin’ John. Last year I discovered celeriac makes a great sub for celery. Peel, cube and dice all of the veggies. If you want to use bacon cut it into a fine dice to crisp.
Sauté everything before adding the beans and stock to the pan. Black eyed peas are easy to cook because they don’t require soaking like most other dried beans and cook in under an hour. A flavorful stock will bring out a rich flavor in the beans. For omnivores I’d recommend chicken or ham hock stock. Vegetarians use your favorite store bought or our Rich Vegetable Stock. Finish the cooked beans with salt, pepper, and a dash of cider vinegar. Serve over rice with hot sauce on the side. I always make a big pot of beans and then turn it into Black Eyed Pea Fritters the next day. I’m including measurements for a single or double batch.
Hoppin’ John with Celeriac
2 cups dried black eyed peas
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or ham hock stock if you have it)
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
In a large stock pot, sauté the onions, celeriac, and carrots in olive oil. When softened add beans and stock to the pan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 – 50 minutes. Add liquid as necessary. Beans are done when tender.
Remove from heat, and season with salt, pepper, and cider vinegar. Serve over rice.
Variations. This is one of many ways to cook black eyed peas! If you’d like to add bacon, crisp 1/2 lb of diced bacon in the stockpot. Remove bacon and drain all but a tablespoon of fat, then follow recipe as written. Stir bacon back into the cooked beans. Try simmering a ham hock with the beans (use water for liquid), and then remove the hock before serving. You can shred any meat from the hock into the beans.
Single batch. If you have a smaller crowd or don’t want leftovers use these measurements:
1 cup dried black eyed peas
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or ham hock stock if you have it)
1/2 celeriac, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper