Slow-cooker Southern black-eyed peas

Eating black-eyed peas for New Year's Day is a Southern tradition. Preparing them in slow-cooker is a low-fuss way to make them the day before.

Perre Coleman Magness
Eating black-eyed peas for New Year's Day is a Southern tradition that is believed to bring good fortune for the coming year.

I feel very strongly about the importance of eating black-eyed peas on New Years day to ensure good fortune for the coming year (and greens for prosperity). But New Years Day is also not always a day I want to be slaving over the stove.

Peas and greens are generally pretty hands off foods, but this has got to be the simplest recipe around for getting your dose of good luck with a nice punch of flavor. I only use the slow cooker, so no extra pots are necessary. Pre-chopped, frozen vegetables and canned tomatoes make this an even simpler prep, but the spices and cured pork add deep, rich flavor.

Start this in the morning to have for dinner, or cook it overnight for a nice lunch. Scoop it as is into generous bowls, or serve it over rice or grits. Some Cast Iron Collards served on the top would make a one bowl meal full of good things for the New Year.

Slow-cooker Southern black-eyed peas
Serves 6

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
10 ounces frozen vegetable seasoning mix (onion, green peppers, celery)
1 piece of cured pork (about 5 ounces) – country ham shank, ham hock, smoked ham, salt pork
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
4 cloves garlic, peeled

1. Cut the butter into pieces and place it in the slow cooker set to high until it begins to melt. Add the vegetables and pork, cover and cook for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the butter is melted.

2. Add the peas, broth, 2 cups water and tomatoes and stir well. Stir in the paprikas, celery salt and pepper. Drop the whole pepper and the garlic cloves into the pot and cover.

3. Cook the peas on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours until the peas are tender. Discard the pork and the jalapeno and serve. If using ham hock or smoked ham, you can shred the meat and stir it into the peas.

Related post on The Runaway Spoon: Cast Iron Collards

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