Recipe Project #161: Spicy Black-Eyed Peas with Ham Hock for New Years

This year, our 20 year old stove that came with the house gave up the ghost over the holidays. We’d been piecing it back together in various ways for awhile, but when the oven completely died, we threw in the towel and went shopping. There were still some good holiday sales on, and we would up buying our first grown-up stove for 30% off plus free delivery and removal of the old one. The delivery schedule left us oven-less over New Year’s, which meant no making or braising. The solution? A Southern Fried New Year: Memphis spicy fried chicken, smothered greens, black-eyed peas, macaroni and cheese crusted under the broiler, and steamed sweet potato pudding. I used Emeril’s recipe for spicy black-eyed peas (minus the tasso), and it was exactly what I wanted.

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 ounces Tasso, small diced
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 bay leaves
2 ham hocks, about 6 ounces each
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
2 quarts chicken stock
Salt and pepper

In a 1 gallon stock pot, heat the olive oil. When the oil is hot, render the Tasso for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the onions and continue sauteing for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bay leaves and ham hocks. Season with salt and pepper. Add the black-eyed peas and chicken stock. Bring the liquid up to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the peas for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the peas are tender. Remove the ham hocks from the pot and remove the meat. Add the meat back to the peas and re-season if necessary.

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