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.
Delicious, Quick Side Dishes
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
How to Make It
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.
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.
The black-eyed peas can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Let them return to room temperature and reheat gently before serving.