Southern Black Eyed Peas

THE BLACK-EYED PEAS (music): The Black Eyed Peas (Southern side dish).

     In the early 2000s, the group, The Black Eyed Peas, had a song that I still play to this day that rounds out the trio that I just love called “Pump It.” It was the first rap song I really liked, and I loved the way it was arranged.

     I thought I’d begin my recipe narrative with an homage to their music. And I wonder if the Black Eyed Peas ever eat black eyed peas. But down to business.

     I have visited the south, and I wanted to try this iconic dish. Maybe I was just unlucky, but I never found one worth raving about. The broth was always a little thin, the integrity of the pea was either too mushy or hard, and there was either too much hot sauce or not enough.

     It was a suggested side when serving a country ham, so I decided to make it my project and create it to my tastes. I named my recipe Southern Black-eyed Peas. I know this is a bit deceiving, because, “THE SOUTHERN I’M REFERRING TO IS SOUTHERN NEBRASKA.”


Southern Black Eyed Peas

yields: 8 servings prep time: The day before, begin recipe. cook time: 2 hours
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2cups 8 oz 8 oz 3 4 cups 1 1/2 tsp 8 oz salt and pepper to taste 2 tablespoonful 1 dash
dry black eyed peas chopped pancetta or bacon chopped onions minced garlic cloves chicken broth or 50:50 bone broth:water bay leaf chili pepper flakes or Slap Yo' Mama Spice to taste fresh-cut greens minced parsley hot sauce (and more for the table) jalapeno pepper sliced as a garnish
  • 2cups
    dry black eyed peas
  • 8 oz
    chopped pancetta or bacon
  • 8 oz
    chopped onions
  • 3
    minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cups
    chicken broth or 50:50 bone broth:water
  • 1
    bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp
    chili pepper flakes or Slap Yo' Mama Spice to taste
  • 8 oz
    fresh-cut greens
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoonful
    minced parsley
  • 1 dash
    hot sauce (and more for the table)
  • jalapeno pepper sliced as a garnish


 Instructions –

The day before:

  • Rinse black-eyed peas thoroughly under cool water.
  • Place peas in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for six hours or overnight.


The morning of the event:

  1. Drain and rinse peas. Set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook the pancetta until crispy.
  3. Drain the pancetta on paper towels, leaving 1 tablespoon of fat in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  4. Add onions to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring often.
  5. Add garlic and cook, often stirring for 2 minutes until translucent.
  6. In the Dutch oven with onions and garlic, combine peas, pancetta, and broth. Stir well.
  7. Add bay leaf and chili pepper flakes and stir again.
  8. Set aside and cool.


One hour before serving:

  1. Bring pea mixture to a low boil over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes or until peas and tender and can be pierced with a fork.
  3. Add the greens, salt, and black pepper to taste. Cook another 4 minutes or until greens have wilted.
  4. Garnish the dish with parsley and hot sauce.
  5. Serve hot with a few sliced jalapenos.

Serve with:

Ham or butterflied pork chops.

Sweet potato that’s been prepared in a slow cooker and mashed just before eating.

A drizzle of EVOO, a dollop of sour cream, a couple of dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce added to the peas

Wine: A Rose or zinfandel.

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