I find pork the secret to a good black-eyed pea recipe. A double dose of ham for flavor and slow and gentle cooking creates this perfect side dish. —Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 ounces sliced salt pork belly, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 carton (32 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 2 smoked ham hocks
- Place peas in a Dutch oven; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse peas, discarding liquid; set aside.
- In the same pan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add the pork belly, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, pepper flakes and pepper; cook 1 minute longer.
- Add the broth, ham hocks and peas; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally and adding additional water if desired.
- Discard bay leaves. Remove ham hocks; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones if desired; finely chop and return to pan. Discard bones. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Southern Black-Eyed Peas in Taste of Home December/January 2012, p103
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