Southern-style Black-eyed Peas for #SundaySupper

by Renee on April 7, 2013

Southern-style Black-eyed Peas | Magnolia Days

Money is tight for a lot of folks these days. So many are watching their budgets closely and cutting spending. One of the ways I have been able to cut expenses is to cook at home more often. Going out to eat adds up even if it is only a couple of times a week. Getting back to basics is important. One of those basic recipes I have always enjoyed is Southern-style Black-eyed Peas.

Dried peas and beans are a staple in the South. They are inexpensive and make a filling contribution to a meal. Sometimes the meal is the peas or beans. A one pound bag of dried black-eyed peas cost about $1 and makes 8 to 10 servings (or more if you stretch it). Additional cost is for salt pork or bacon to flavor it although it is not necessary. A 12 ounce package of salt pork is about $3.50 and you only use 8 ounces of it. There is a tiny bit more cost with water, salt, and pepper. In total it is less than $5.00 for the whole batch.

To soak or not to soak? That was the question. I usually soak beans and peas overnight like for pinto beans or minestrone soup. I’ve heard black-eyed peas can be made without soaking. I wanted to be sure so I went directly to my experts; my mom and my mother-in-law. Both prepared them the same way. They do not soak them overnight. They both cook them low and slow for about 2 hours. They both use salt pork (also called fatback or streak-o-lean). After consulting with the experts, I knew I would have a winning recipe to share. Oh, and both serve them with chopped onions or chow chow on the side.

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Southern-style Black-eyed Peas

2 hours, 15 minutes

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Southern-style Black-eyed Peas

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) dried black-eyed peas
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) sliced salt pork*
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Rinse peas in a colander. Pick out and discard any discolored peas along with any small stones.

Add all the ingredients to a large pot. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer (do not let get to a hard boil). Turn the heat to low or medium-low to maintain a slow simmer. Partially cover and cook until the peas are tender, about 2 hours. Check occasionally and add more water if needed. Remove and discard salt pork. Serve immediately. Optional serving condiment/topping: Chopped onion or chow chow.

Notes

*You can omit salt pork for a low-fat version. You can also substitute bacon if salt pork is not available.

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

The Ninja Baker April 7, 2013 at 3:48 am

LOVE learning about Southern classics, Renee. Thank you for contacting the experts about soaking the beans. I’ve soaked beans overnight before for soup. But it’s nice to know I can simply slow cook for 2 hours…And I can boast that I’m doing it the traditional Southern way!

=)

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Most beans do require an overnight soak. Black-eyed peas are an exception.

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Paula @ Vintage Kitchen April 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

I don´t think I ever had black eyed peas. Certainly not for new year´s when it´s so hot here. It sounds like the perfect budget side dish Renee! Legumes are so versatile, I love them.

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Stacy April 7, 2013 at 9:04 am

I don’t soak my black-eyed peas either, Renee. I think they are somehow less tough than other beans so it’s not necessary. We eat these every New Year’s Day for luck too. My grandmother always made the chow-chow but since she died, I have been at a complete loss. Okay, not really, since I do have her recipe but, dear God, it makes gallons of the stuff. Maybe I need to think about scaling it back and making an attempt.

Such a simple recipe but so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I also want to make chow chow. My parents made those big batches too. Perhaps this summer I will.

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Lane @ Supper for a Steal April 7, 2013 at 9:27 am

I love black eyed peas, but the only time I get them is on New Years or is we are at a restaurant. I really need to make them more often. I bet your recipe is perfect.

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Jen @JuanitasCocina April 7, 2013 at 9:28 am

I absolutely adore black eyed peas! I love the simplicity and flavors in them…just yum!

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Liz April 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

Such a simple, economical yet delicious dish! Thanks for sharing, Renee!

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 7, 2013 at 9:50 am

I have to admit, I’m kind of lazy when it comes to beans, I never bought them raw, always in a can, but I think I’m going to try them raw! Thank you for sharing a great recipe!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I admit I do cheat occasionally with canned beans. However, the ones made from dried beans are so much better because of cooking them with salt pork or a ham bone or other flavorings.

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Heather @girlichef April 7, 2013 at 9:53 am

My husbands favorite go-to dishes include some sort of bean or legume, and this is one I know he’d happily devour! I don’t know why I tend to cook black-eyed peas for the first month of the year and then forget about them for the other 11. I need to remedy that!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

They really are so popular for New Year’s and then get forgotten. Well, not at my house. We have them all the time.

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Wendy (TheWeekend Gourmet) April 7, 2013 at 10:27 am

Maybe it’s time for me to try blackeyed peas again…before my Southern Card is revoked :)! I never liked them growing up, but many things I didn’t like as a kid are now my favorites as an adult. You’ve given me great inspiration…

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Wendy! You wouldn’t believe how many foods I love now that I would not eat when I was a kid.

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Family Foodie April 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

I always soak… it’s how my mom made beans so …. that is how I always do it. Your photography improves every week… beautiful!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I soak all the other beans and peas except these.

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Kate@Diethood April 7, 2013 at 11:56 am

This is one of my favorite comfort meals! BTW, I love this theme! I keep going from blog to blog and everything looks so delicious, yet inexpensive.

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Thanks Kate and I am loving the theme too. Such yummy inexpensive recipes.

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Beate April 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

I think we would do very well in the South :) Love black eyed peas, actually anything with beans. Yum!!! Thank you so much for sharing the expert opinions on the whether to soak or not soak the black eyed peas.

Love this recipe, Renee.

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Thanks Bea! I love going to my experts for their guidance on cooking.

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Diana @GourmetDrizzles April 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Ok, ok, so I’ve lived in the South now (for years) and have never tried Black-eyed Peas. They are sooo cute, and the fact that these have salt pork, makes me wonder even more where they’ve been all my life!!! Thanks for sharing. Lovely photo, too!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:54 pm

You must take that extra step and try some black-eyed peas. You are in the South after all so embrace it!

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Lyn @LovelyPantry April 7, 2013 at 5:00 pm

I’ve used black eyed peas in my Rice & Peas before. I didn’t have to soak it overnight, just a few hours. I usually buy my peas in the can to save me some precious time. I’m really liking this recipe, Renee. I think southern style cooking is awesome!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I totally agree that Southern style cooking is awesome.

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Laura | Small Wallet, Big Appetite April 8, 2013 at 7:25 am

So black-eyed peas are one of the only legumes I haven’t cooked with. But I inherited a bag from a friend who moved abroad so I have been wondering what to do with them. I am going to give this a try.

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Thanks Laura! I’m sure once you make them you will want to again and again.

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Anita at Hungry Couple April 8, 2013 at 8:18 am

I’ve actually never tried black eyed peas but I love beans in general and am always looking for new recipes. It certainly looks delicious!

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:52 pm

You simply must try black-eyed peas. Go for the home-cooked ones. The canned ones are okay just not the same.

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Katherine G April 8, 2013 at 10:15 am

Haven’t had black eyed peas in years. Still a huge fan of them. This is an awesome recipe.

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Sarah April 8, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Funny how something so simple can be so delicious!

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Conni @FoodieArmyWife April 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Beautfully simple :)

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Cindys Recipes and Writings April 8, 2013 at 4:54 pm

In love black-eyed peas, Renee. Thanks for reminding me about them.

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Renee April 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

You are welcome Cindy!

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Brandie (@ Home Cooking Memories) April 13, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I’ve never cooked with salt pork, but very curious about it now. These sounds really quite wonderful…and even better that they are budget friendly.

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Megan April 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

YUM! One of my all time favorites and I grew up on a recipe very similar to this one.

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