Happy New Year! In the American South, black-eyed peas are considered lucky when eaten on New Year’s Day. Plus, they’re a great source of lean protein and easier to use than other dried beans. Instead of soaking overnight, you can add dried black-eyed peas right to the pot and they’ll cook in about 1.5 hours.
We made duck for Thanksgiving this year, and have been enjoying the duck fat and stock we made from the leftovers ever since. This is the perfect recipe to use it! The silkiness of duck stock is enhanced by ham hocks, but don’t worry if you don’t have duck stock on hand. Chicken stock would do just fine.
New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes*
2 quarts stock (duck or chicken)
1 lb ham hocks
1 lb dried black-eyed peas
6 ounces baby spinach
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, to taste
In a large saucepan, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook about 5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, stir 30 seconds, then add spices. Stir until fragrant. Add tomatoes, including juice, stock, ham hocks, and black-eyed peas. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer 1.5-2 hours, until thickened and black-eyed peas are tender. Remove hocks from pot. Reserve meat, chop into bite-sized pieces. Dispose of bones, and add meat back into bean mixture. Stir in spinach until wilted. Remove from heat, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.
*Be sure to use a BPA-free brand like Eden Organics or San Marzano