Sunday, December 26, 2010

Southern Style Black Eyed Peas - Good Luck for the New Year

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As far back as I can remember I've eaten black eyed peas on New Year's Day.  My Dad is a big believer in the New Year tradition of eating black eyed peas for good luck.  Truth be told I thinks it's more about Dad just wanting to eat some black eyed peas and less about the good luck and tradition {giggles}. Nevertheless, I still eat black-eyed peas every January 1st.

Did you know the tradition has evolved over time into a number of variations?

When black-eyed peas are served with greens, the peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money.

Served with cornbread.  The cornbread represents gold.  Yeah baby!  That's how we eat it.  Wonder why I don't have bricks of gold in hiding?

Get this - for the best chance of luck every day in the new year, you must eat at least 365 black eyed peas on New Year's Day.  Uh - NO THANKS!  I like black-eyed peas, but not that much!!!

Black-eyed peas eaten with stewed tomatoes represent wealth and health.

And finally some people add a shiny penny or dime to the pot just before serving. (Hopefully they disinfect it!)  The person who gets the penny or dime in their bowl receives the best luck for the New Year.  This just sounds like a choking hazard to me!

However you eat them I hope they bring you a Happy, Lucky, Wealthy, Healthy New Year!

Here's what you'll need:
1 pound of dried black-eyed peas
1 pound of bacon
1 red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves minced
1 teaspoon black pepper

Soak the black-eyed peas over night.

Chop the bacon into small pieces.  Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat.  When hot add in the bacon and brown.

While the bacon is browning drain the black-eyed peas, rinse,  and sort through them discarding any debris or bad peas.  Using a paper towel dry the beans as good as possible.  After the bacon has browned add the black-eyed peas, onion, and garlic to the dutch oven. Cook stirring occasionally for about 3 to 5 minutes.

TIP - Don't salt the black-eyed peas while cooking.  Salting while cooking slows down the cooking process and toughens the peas. Yuck.

Add enough cold water to the pot to cover the beans by 1 inch. Using cold water will release all the yummy browned bits on the bottom of the dutch oven.  Add in the black pepper and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours adding water as necessary.  I like my black-eyed peas to have a gravy like consistency.  Some people prefer more of a soup like consistency. It's up to you.

When done salt and pepper to taste.  Have some Hot Pepper Sauce on hand to eat with it.  Yum!

This is the best pepper sauce to eat with black-peas or beans of any kind!

Don't like black-eyed peas?  For luck's sake - a little dab will do ya!

Best of luck to you and your families in 2011!


  1. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this post today!
    I loved reading about how all of the variations of black-eyed peas bring good luck. I had heard that before but not with so many variations. This was so interesting!!
    Do black-eyed peas always have to be eaten like gravy or soup or can they be chewier? I am not sure I would like the consistency (I like things chewier)
    Would turkey bacon work too? (I know regular bacon would be better but I have turkey bacon in the house)
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

    Cat Chat

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I will be making these homemade this year, and your recipe looks great. The canned ones are so gross and is probably why I only eat a bite each New Year. Corn bread on the side is the way to go for sure! Happy New Year Shannon!

  3. Caren - Yes, turkey bacon would be fine. Just add a little light cooking oil to saute the onions, garlic, and beans. The black-eyed peas in this dish will be very soft. If you like them firmer you might try making a Texas cavier and serving with tortilla chips. Texas cavier is totally different than the above recipe but equally as delicious!

    Rhondi - I agree. There is no comparison between homemade and canned black-eyed peas!

  4. Shannon thanks so much for the tips and the other recipe suggestion! :)

  5. It only took browsing through a few of your posts to see that I MUST FOLLOW THIS BLOG!!
    Two of my passions are:

    *counted cross stitch...and....
    *making yummy things in my kitchen

    I will recommend your blog on my blog...when I post next!
    Happy New Year to YOU!!

  6. We throw our peas in a queso recipe! I am getting the bowls ready to hand out to our neighbors. I'm stuck...I can't seam to remember the cute poem I put with them while handing them out. Anyone know a good one?

  7. Peggy Lee - Happy New Year! Thanks and Welcome! What's your blog address? I would love to visit!

    Anonymous - Happy New Year! Taking black eyed peas to your neighbors is a great idea! I don't know any poems about them. I only know to eat them :-).

  8. I made your black eyed peas yesterday and kept them warm in the slow cooker all day. We all kept going back for more! Even my kids liked them. I used half bacon and half ham. Everybody said they were the best black eyed peas they've ever eaten. No more canned beans for me! Happy New Year Shannon!!!