Recipe Box: Black-eyed peas with ham hocks

Typically eaten with cornbread, this dish is a New Year’s Day tradition in the South. The black-eyed peas symbolize prosperity for the coming year. Take it a step further by serving with cash-colored collard “greens.” 


1-4 smoked ham hocks

6 cups chicken stock or water (See directions)

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

2-4 cloves garlic, diced

1-3 jalapeno peppers, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

Several pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled


* Vary chicken-stock-to-water ratio according to the amount of smoked meat used. With four ham hocks, water only may be used; a bouillon cube may be later added if necessary.

* If desired, factor one or two of the half-consumed beers from the previous night into to the liquid mixture.

* Put all ingredients in an enameled Dutch oven or crockpot and cook on low for 4-8 hours. (The ambitious may sauté the onions and garlic first.)

* Take out the ham hocks, remove the meat, add it back to the pot, and serve.

* Have Tabasco sauce on hand.

— From the kitchen of Stacy Eakes, Baltimore

For more recipes click here.

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.