Some Peas For My Peeps

A few days ago Barb mentioned that she’d been making my recipe for blackeyed peas fairly often. Since then I’ve had several people email me to ask if I’d share the recipe.

And please understand: the term “recipe” is generous, really, because I think I make blackeyed peas a little differently every single time. As long as you soak them ahead of time and use some sort of salted pork product when you cook them, it’s almost impossible to mess them up.

Also: I realize that some of you might be reading this and thinking “Ewww! Salted pork product? Like bacon? Won’t that add a bunch of fat to my vegetables?”

And to answer your question: why, yes, yes it will.

But in my opinion, cooking peas or beans without a little pork is like ordering pizza without cheese. WHY WOULD YOU EVEN DO SUCH A THING?

Anyway, I had big plans to take lots of pictures of my blackeyed pea-cooking process, but I just lost the will, frankly, because I’m tired. However, I did manage to take a picture of all the ingredients I use, and I will share said picture with you at this juncture:



Does anyone notice what’s missing from the picture?

That would be the peas.

And, oddly enough, a bag of peas is an integral part of a recipe for, you know, peas. Unless you are a wizard. In which case you could just wave your wand and make a big pot of peas using only a bag of cotton balls and some dryer sheets. Which would no doubt be something to behold.

See? I told you I was tired.

So if you’re not a wizard, it would probably be a really good idea to include a one pound bag of dried blackeyed peas (not frozen) when you make this recipe. Or else you will just end up with some highly seasoned water. And while the water might be somewhat tasty thanks to all the PORK FAT, it probably won’t be very filling.

Here’s what you do.

Pour the bag of dried blackeyed peas into a boiler that contains 6-8 cups of water. Bring them to a gentle boil over medium high heat. Don’t crank up the heat because the peas can scorch pretty easily (she says, having learned that lesson the hard way). Let them boil for 2 minutes. Take them off the heat, cover, and leave them alone for an hour or two.

After the peas have soaked for at least an hour, pour them into a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Put them back in your boiler (or your crockpot), cover with 6-8 cups of water (I usually do 8 because I like to cook them a long time), and then add all your seasonings.

And while I don’t really measure how much of each seasoning I use, here’s my best guess:

2 tsp. salt (more if you like)
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (more if you like)
1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce (sometimes I use it; sometimes I don’t)
1/2 tsp. Cavender’s Greek seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. red pepper
3 slices thick cut bacon, quartered

Throw all the seasonings in the pot – and bring the peas up to another gentle boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer, and let them cook for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Or longer. Make sure not to stir them too much or you’ll break the peas and end up with a very tasty bowl of mush.

They’re even better if you cook them the night before you’re planning to serve them (which I’m doing right now), let them cool, put them in the refrigerator, and then bring them up to a gentle simmer for about 30 minutes the next day – right before you’re ready to eat. And then? OH MY WORD AT THE TASTY GOODNESS. As far as I’m concerned, some blackeyed peas with a hot skillet of homemade cornbread is a meal in and of itself. So delicious.

Happy 4th, y’all!

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  1. Sounds yummy. Dried blackeyes are the only ones for me. No can or frozen. I love them with cornbread and sliced vidalia onions. My family eats onion with everything- especially peas and dried limas.

  2. “As far as I’m concerned, some blackeyed peas with a hot skillet of homemade cornbread is a meal in and of itself. So delicious.”

    I have to say amen to that!
    Some of our best meals ever have been that…or pintos….and then my daddy likes a glass of cornbread and milk for dessert…mmmm:-)

  3. We have a farm in Texas – my inlaws live there – and THE BEST meal – better than eating out at any restaurant is: BBQ brisket, black eyed peas, cabbage (sometimes fried okra), cornbread AND a HUNK of onion! And, of course, ice tea – sweetened. There must be an oscillating fun running somewhere in the kitchen too…and probably a jello salad. YUM..I’ve just made myself hungry.

  4. Uhmm…I think I’m drooling. Black eyed peas are by far one of my favorites!!!!

  5. I’ve never had black eyed peas! I think I’ll have to try making some even though I am fairly sure I’m the only one in the family who will eat them. And, do you really make cornbread in a skillet? Never heard of that either. I’m a Northern girl you know, I miss out.

  6. Thought I’d actually comment since I have my own site now….I can remember my grandmother always fixing black-eyed peas on New Years!!! What a memory.

  7. I grew up on black eyed peas and they are yummy! It just reminds me of all the good and perfect things that come from the south! But, the one missing ingredient is a pitcher of sweet tea. Can you eat southern food without sweet tea? I think it’s illegal (well, it’s really frowned upon) in my county!

    Happy 4th of July!

    Georgia Mom

  8. I am ever so thankful for all you Martha’s out there who can help a Mary like me be somewhat domesticated! Can’t wait ot make these- hubby will be thrilled!
    Happy 4th!

  9. Oh I’m so confused….are black eyed peas something different from the normal green peas I’m used to?? And how on earth can you bring them to a boil in a CROCK POT?? You can’t boil things in there, can you??

    Um, no, no I don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen, why do you ask? :o)

  10. I think I will try this recipe, I’ve never had black eyed peas before, but this looks yummy. The first time I ever came across someone who cooked vegetables “with some sort of pork product” was about 16 years ago in my then sister-in-law’s kitchen in VA. She made us green beans she cooked with fat from a pork roast she made…I couldn’t believe it…but it was delicious. Happy July 4th!

  11. THANK YOU! Ever since I mentioned how often I make your blackeyed peas, and how they taste exactly like my grandma used to make them, I’ve been swamped with email requests for the recipe. I’ve typed it so many times, it’s committed to memory now.

    Next time someone emails me for your recipe, I can send them right over here.

    And yeah, those peas wouldn’t be the same without a fine little layer of bacon grease floating on the top. Absolutely yummy.

    We make dinner out of them too. I do what you do – I just make a batch of cornbread. And they’re even better the second day.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe with the whole wide world. Whew!

  12. I say the fat is offset by the fiber!

  13. I don’t know if I will make these considering I am the only one in my house that loves vegetables, but it looks yummy! If it has bacon fat, it is probably good! Thanks for sharing all your wonderful recipes.

  14. Blackeyes…yum-o-in-the-tum-o. And, pork fat rules!

  15. It seems to me that it show be against all laws to even CONSIDER making black eyed peas without bacon fat or ham hocks.
    Please….Pass the cornbread!

    Jan (quiltgirl60)

  16. Sounds delicious, Boomama! My MIL is from Rockingham, NC and she always has black-eyed peas for dinner on New Year’s Day. I’ll have to try your recipe and surprise her with it. I think all of us love a little “taste of home”.

  17. I just posted my favorite black eyed pea recipe. Thanks for sharing yours.

  18. Thanks for this recipe, BooMama. Truthfully, I love black-eyed peas but never can season them to my taste.(Sometimes the whole vegetable-seasoning process intimidates me. Nothing compares to Grandmother’s cooking!!!) I had just about given up trying. I can’t wait to try these!!! By the way, I’ve been making your Asian Pork Tenderloin quite frequently. My family loves it, and all the families I’ve shared it with have enjoyed it, as well. Keep posting recipes….I love to cook and especially like to try new things!

  19. Sounds dee-lish! My mouth is watering just thinking of a skillet of hot, steamy cornbread.

    Happy Independence Day!

  20. “I’ve never had black eyed peas!”

    Gina, how does that HAPPEN?!?! I wanted to cry for you when I read that! You will not be disappointed! :)

    Cavender’s is a staple in our house too. We buy the 5 lb. bucket and pour it into a shaker.

    Yay for peas!

  21. from the “grafted” one… Happy 4th of July!

  22. Yummm. You baby your peas a little more than I do, I think. I’m a “throw it in the pot, add a bit of this and that, crank up the crockpot, and see how it goes” sort of pea-cooker. And the cornbread (my grandmother’s recipe) is an absolute must. But I’ve never added worcestershire sauce. I’ll have to try that next time!

  23. Such a service you do for us BooMama!
    I just made your baby lima beans last night and my husband loved them.
    And by the way, your breakfast casserole is a favorite when I take breakfast to Sunday School. So from one of your peeps, a great big thank you!
    Happy 4th of July!!

  24. Blackeyed peas, sweet cornbread with just a dollop of mayo and chopped onions mixed together. YUMMMMMY!!!

  25. Well, since I’m still making your butter beans, I should give this a try!

    PS– Have you tried the Pilliteri’s Greek Seasoning? A little local flava for ya!

  26. k-mama says:

    have you ever tried pink eyed purple hull peas? oh, my goodness – they’ll make you slap your grandma

  27. To quote my Daddy – ‘so good your tongue will beat your brains out to get to it’. That’s how good that sounds!

  28. THANK YOU for educating a whole new generation on the bounty and flavor of good southern cooking. Your warning about stirring the peas to mush reminds me how many failures I’ve had making chicken and dumplings, but when they’re good, they’re VERY, VERY good. I’m off to get a glass of sweet tea!

  29. Thank you so much for this!

    I am going to try this tonight!

    I am from the north, but my hubby is from Bama (War Eagle!). I know he will be surprised that I can make blackeyed peas!

  30. But the collards……where are the collards?

    We LOVE blackeyed peas! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  31. I’m back and making these for supper tonight. If the aroma is any indication of the flavor my husband will be very happy.

  32. Stephanie from Rhode Island says:

    Yummm…. you’ve got me hungry again! About pizza without cheese… this is an odd Rhode Island thing. I am not even kidding! It’s almost always served as an appetizer at native Rhode Islander’s get-togethers. Pizza crust, sauce & pepperonis… Why?! Throw a little cheese on there, people. PLEASE! My husband and some fellow non-Rhode Island co-workers were once working late and sent a Rhode Island native co-worker to pick up pizza. They told her to get pepperoni. So that’s what she came back with. NO CHEESE. Apparently that’s extra. O the joy of living in the Land of Yankees. Not the baseball team of course because around here we’re Red Sox fans.


  33. Collie Girl says:

    I’ve never used anything but from-the-garden pink-eyed purple hull peas when making mine… my Daddy could make the best “pot liquor” and we would mash up a wedge of that skillet cornbread all in a bowl and scoop peas and pot liquor all over it and eat it with a spoon. I don’t even know if I have any meal in the cabinet (I don’t cook much), but I need to get home and make me a skillet of bread (though I must confess that I’m in love with the Jiffy mix as well).

    Have you ever made “Mississippi Caviar” with black-eyed peas? That dish has made the carry-in supper rounds down here in Jackson.

  34. You and Jules are savin’ my bacon tonight. I’m making her famous meatloaf and these peas. Add Theresa’s marinated tomatoes, and voila! We actually eat tonight. And no take out containers were hurt in the filming of this commercial.