- 1 pound dried field peas (2 1/3 cups), picked over and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 3/4 cup mild aromatic honey, preferably Palmetto
- 3/4 cup dry sherry
- 6 ounces country ham, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- In a large saucepan, combine the field peas with the water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook the peas over low heat until just tender, about 35 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large heavy casserole, combine the peas, 1/2 cup of the honey, the sherry, ham, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and white pepper. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the reserved pea-cooking liquid. Cover and bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the peas are tender and some of the liquid is absorbed. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of honey on top and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, or until the peas are glazed on top. Serve hot or warm.
The recipe can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Rewarm over moderately low heat.