Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Black-Eyed Pea Stew

Note substitutions to make the dish a little more healthy.


1 large Ham hock ham shank, or ham bone (substitute with smoked turkey necks)
2 tablespoons Vegetable oil
1 pound Smoked sausage hot sausage, andouille, bacon, ham, or other smoked pork (substitute with turkey sausage)
1 large Yellow onion chopped
1 large Green bell pepper chopped
1 Jalapeno peppers finely chopped (or 2) (optional)
2 tablespoons Garlic minced
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne
2 Bay Leaves
1 pound Dried black-eyed peas rinsed and picked over
2 quarts Ham stock low-sodium chicken stock, or water
1/2 cup Fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped


Wash peas, spread out on towel and check for derbies (you don't have to soak the peas). With a sharp knife, score the skin and fat on the ham hocks with 1/4-inch-deep slashes. (I used dried black-eyed peas, soaked them over night and rinsed the next morning and prepared it in the crockpot).

Heat the oil in a large heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the ham hocks, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and bay leaves. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and stock. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and bring down to a medium simmer, cooking uncovered for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the sausage into 1/2" pieces and brown in a heavy skillet. (If using bacon, don't cook it until its crisp.) Add sausage to the beans, continue a medium simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 45 to 60 minutes more, or until the peas are creamy and tender (skim off any foam that forms on the surface). Add additional stock if necessary.

Remove the bay leaves and discard. Cut the meat from the ham hocks, discarding the skin and bones. Return the meat to the pot, stir in the parsley and heat through, about 5 minutes. Check seasonings. Serve with cooked long-grain white rice, corn bread or corn muffins.

May be served over rice as a main course, as a side dish, or thinned with ham or chicken stock and served as a soup, as desired.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

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