New Year's Day Black-Eyed Peas

"Growing up in a large family of mixed heritage in the South, it seemed only natural to make things up as we went along," says Ryan Hardy. "My mother, a Yankee, insisted that it was good luck to have black-eyed peas on New Year's Day and she'd save the bones from country ham hunks just for that day." Hardy, who has childhood memories of black-eyed peas simmering on the front burner (and collards on the back burner), has adapted the recipe over the years; he now serves the hearty peas with garlic-rubbed toasts and garnishes them with generous amounts of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.


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  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 10
  • Time(Other): plus overnight soaking

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  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 very large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 very large carrot, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves—4 minced, 1 whole
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (about 2 1/4 cups), soaked overnight and drained
  • Two 1-pound smoked ham hocks
  • 2 quarts chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small baguette, sliced diagonally 3/4 inch thick
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, enameled cast-iron casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot and minced garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the drained black-eyed peas, ham hocks, chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover partially and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Season generously with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the bread slices in the oven for about 8 minutes, until golden. Brush lightly with olive oil and rub lightly with the garlic clove.

  3. Drain the black-eyed peas; discard the ham hocks and bay leaves. Transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Serve the black-eyed peas with the garlic toasts, passing grated cheese at the table.

Make Ahead

The black-eyed peas can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Contributed By Photo © Rob Howard Published January 2008

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Author Name: Charlie Ursprung

Review Body: Well, that is a Southern tradition, majority of the southern families have black eyed peas, ham, cornbread, and greens for New Years Day. Been that way since the Civil War where it originated from.

Date Published: 2017-01-02