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In the southern United States, eating Hoppin John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with good luck. Hoppin John is a pork-flavored stew of black-eyed peas and rice. The folklore varies about the origins of this West African–influenced dish.
According to Garden&Gun.com, no matter where the ritual comes from, one thing is for sure, the symbolism always stays the same: The beans represent coins, and the pork conveys optimism because pigs forage forward and don’t look back.
I feel kind of cheated that I was sick after new years and didn’t get the chance to share with you this recipe for Hoppin John. I know it is March, but I’m gonna share it with you now, so bear with the New Years garble and feast on this recipe!
Do you make New Year Resolutions? I don’t usually. Even when I quit smoking on New Years Day 3 years ago. It wasn’t my new year’s resolution. It wasn’t planned, it just happened.
However, I was diagnosed with Melanoma last year, so I figure a little southern ritual would NEVER hurt. So, I made Hoppin John for David and me on new years day. We made a meal off of this one-pot-wonder.
Let me show you how to make this southern dish!
Ingredients For Hoppin John:
- Dried black-eyed peas – these need to soak overnight prior to cooking.
- Chicken broth – to make a rich broth to stew the peas in.
- Diced tomatoes and green chilies – I use Rotel. The chiles are very mild and give the peas a nice flavor.
- Ham hock – provides a rich smoky flavor.
- Red bell pepper
- Jalapeños – can omit if you don’t like spicy food.
- Creole seasoning – I use Tony Chachere.
- Hot cooked Rice – This is for serving and it’s completely optional.
How To Make Hoppin John
The Evening Prior To Cooking:
Rinse and pick through the dried peas to remove any shriveled, broken, discolored, or blemished peas, loose skins, and other debris. Place the peas in a large bowl; add water to the beans until the water is covering by 2 to 3 inches over the peas. Soak overnight.
The Next Morning:
Strain the water from the peas and give them a rinse.
Add the peas to a large Dutch oven. Bring the peas, chicken broth, tomatoes, ham hock, pepper, onion, celery, jalapenos, and creole seasoning to a boil over medium-high heat.
Place the lid on the pot, reduce heat, and simmer 3 to 4 hours or until peas are tender.
Serve as is or with rice.
Time-Saving Tip: You could also use a crock-pot if desired. I am 100% positive they will turn out just as good!
This Hoppin John recipe was so good that I have been thinking about making them again. They could easily be cooked in a crock-pot and ready when you return home from a long day at work.
I hope you will try your luck with this southern dish too!
- 16 ounce bag dried black-eyed peas
- 32 ounces chicken broth
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 ham hock
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 2 jalapeños seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- Hot cooked rice (optional)
- Rinse and pick through the dried peas to remove any shriveled, broken, discolored or blemished peas, loose skins and other debris. Place the peas in a large bowl; add water to the beans until the water is covering by 2 to 3 inches over the peas. Soak overnight.
- Strain the water from the peas and give them a rinse.
- Add them to a large Dutch oven. Bring the peas, chicken broth, tomatoes, ham hock, pepper, onion, celery, jalapenos and creole seasoning to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Place the lid on the pot, reduce heat, and simmer 3 to 4 hours or until peas are tender.
- Serve as is or with rice.