New Year’s Day is the one day you must eat black eyed peas. So maybe they aren’t your favorite legume? Well, if you are willing to make a stew of it, then you might have found a new best friend.
Pairing black-eyed peas with a small host of vegetables, and you can use thetrinity – celery, bell pepper and onion – mirepoix, soffritto or any combination of vegetables you like, can make all the difference in the world.
The long sautéed vegetables add a depth of flavor that nothing else can. The other important factor is the porky sort of thing you must add. Use smoked sausage, fresh Italian sausage, ham hocks or any other pork product you like. Jimmy Dean's breakfast sausage is another good choice!
BLACK-EYED PEA STEW
2-3 cups cooked black eyed peas
1 cup chopped sausage
1 chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup grated carrot
1 chopped red onion
3-4 chopped cloves garlic
1 cup homemade chicken stock
Red pepper flakes
Oil as needed
Sauté the sausage in a large, heavy sauté pan until well-browned, remove and add the bell pepper, celery, carrot and onion, season aggressively and cook over a medium-low flame for at least 15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Now add the sausage, 1/2 cup peas and stock and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the balance of the peas and cook 5 minutes more. Serve with crusty French bread.