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Smoky Black-Eyed Peas

Although black-eyed peas are the quintessential Southern bean, any fresh shell bean, such as limas, purple hull peas or pigeon peas, can be substituted in this recipe.

slideshow Delicious, Quick Side Dishes

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1 meaty smoked ham hock
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 quarts water
  • 3 pounds fresh black-eyed peas or purple hull peas, shelled (about 6 cups), or three 10-ounce packages frozen shelled black-eyed peas
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Cut some of the meat from the ham hock into large chunks. In a large saucepan, combine the ham hock and meat with the onion, jalapeño and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
  2. Add the black-eyed peas to the ham broth and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain the black-eyed peas in a colander. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces; discard the bone. Transfer the meat and black-eyed peas to a bowl, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Make Ahead

The black-eyed peas can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let them return to room temperature and reheat gently before serving.

Serve With

Green-Tomato Pickle or any pickled relish.

Contributed By Published May 2004

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