I grew up surrounded by black eyed peas, it seemed. Canned black eyed peas in the cupboard. Dried black eyed peas in the pantry. Black eyed peas in the garden. They made an appearance at almost every dinner, and my dad still has them very, very often. My favorite way to prepare black eyed peas is in a slow cooker. For a little smokiness I add a smoked pork shank. And for a little spiciness I add a little jalapeno. To make it a main dish I add chopped smoked ham. For a side dish, I’d leave out the ham. Probably.
I avoid cooking dried beans in water if possible. I prefer chicken broth. It adds so much more flavor to the beans. I seem to always have gallons of chicken broth on hand. I save my vegetable and chicken trimmings, freezing them, and once I have enough I make a huge pot of broth. It’s great stuff, specially for making black eyed peas in the slow cooker.
For something totally different try my pickled black-eyed peas. They’re magical.
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups dry black eyed peas
- 2 cups sweet onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 medium jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 smoked ham hock (I used a smoked pork shank)
- 1 bay leaf
- Hot sauce, to taste
- Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Note: If you wish to add smoked ham, do so 6 hours into cooking.
- Remove ham hock and let cool slightly. Cut meat from the bone, chop, and return to the slow cooker.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.