Lucky New Years Hoppin’ John

January 2, 2012 in Dinner, FOOD, Uncategorized

Lucky New Year’s Hoppin’ John
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Soak Time: 24 hours
Cook Time About 2 ½ hours

Will served a large crowd of 20 people easily with left overs

• 1 Pound Smoked Slab Bacon Cut Into ¼ Inch Cubes
• 4 Large Ham Hocks
• 3 Large yellow Onions Diced
• 4 Medium Green Peppers Diced
• 2 Red Peppers Diced
• 5 Stalks Celery Diced, Plus Any Leaves Finely Chopped
• 6 Bay Leaves
• 6 Cloves of Garlic Minced
• 1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Black pepper
• Salt to taste
• ½ Cup Fresh Thyme
• 1 ¼ Gallons Home Made Chicken Stock
• 6 Pounds Dried Black-Eyed Peas, Soaked Overnight, Rinsed and Drained.
• 3 Cups Cooked Yellow Rice or Basmati Rice Prepared Ahead Of Time.
• Optional Hot Sauce and Sliced Scallions

This dish virtually cooks itself but the real work is centered in the prep work. You must tediously pick through your dried peas as I can assure you that you do not want to bite into a pebble or someone’s finger tip that may have found its way into the back. Also choose your pork selection and herbs should be as good as you can find because it is the backbone behind the smoke and flavor.

You don’t have to be meticulous with the dicing of the vegetable because they are going to cook down but try to be as consistent as possible.

1. Over medium to high heat, fry slab bacon until some of the fat is released and add the ham hocks searing on all sides for about 4 minutes before adding the onions and pepper stirring frequently and continue to sauté until the onions are slightly translucent (about 8 minutes – this step will remove any frond that might have developed on the bottom of the Dutch oven). Add the celery and garlic tossing until garlic becomes fragrant (about 2 minutes).

2. Add the black-eyed peas, salt and pepper stirring everything to incorporate all ingredients. Note: it is important to add salt to the beans in the beginning, as they will absorb flavor as they cook. Pour one quart of chicken broth into the Dutch the stir in bay leaves and thyme before adding the remaining stock, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow beans to cook for 90 minutes stirring lightly every 10 minutes. Crack the lid on the Dutch Oven and cook the peas for about another ½ hour until they are tender and the base has slightly thickened. Remove Ham Hocks (allow to cool slightly), shred meat and return to peas.

3. Ladle over rice in shallow soup bowls. I like to serve mine with clear vinegar based hot sauce and the green onions.