Cornbread and Black-Eyed Peas

Time for another receipt. This one I got from my mother, who grew up during the Depression. For the part that takes the longest:

1 lb dried black eyed peas, rinsed, picked and soaked

1/2 lb cubed salt pork OR 1/2 lb sliced ham hocks, rinsed

3 quarts water

1 tbsp black pepper

2/3 tbsp white pepper

1/3 cup chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1/2 seeded diced jalapeno (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and let cook 12-18 hours (in other words, set it up just before bedtime to have ready for the next night’s supper). If you’re on a low-fat diet, turn off the heat, chill it in the refrigerator and skim off the solidified fat, then reheat to serve. You’ll note there’s no salt other than what’s in the pork. If you use salt pork you won’t need more salt but you might want 2 tsp liquid smoke flavor, (which can be substituted for the meat altogether in a pinch, in which case you may also need some salt). If you use ham hocks you might want some salt available on the table. To ease serving, you’ll need to slice the ham hock off the bones; I usually discard the rind (skin). I know people who fight over the marrow…

good thick slow-cooked peas

Black-eyed peas


1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

3 tbsp melted butter or good vegetable oil

Sift dry ingredients together. Beat buttermilk into egg; beat in oil; stir in dry ingredients. Bake at 425 degrees F for 18-20 minutes, until top is golden brown, in an 8×8 inch lightly-greased pan. (Or, for best flavor, in an 8” cast-iron skillet with about 1/2 tsp of clean bacon grease melted in it while you preheat the oven. The hot bacon grease and hot pan give the bread a tasty, crunchy crust.)

To serve: slice cornbread. Split slices open and butter generously. If using ham hocks, debone the meat, discard the rind, and return shredded meat and bones to the peas. Heat peas through while cornbread browns.  Ladle peas over sliced cornbread.  (The peas will thicken the broth in the last couple hours of cooking.)




3 responses to “Cornbread and Black-Eyed Peas

  1. mmmmm… [drool]

    you must be sending your cold weather our way, it’s expected to arrive tomorrow-ish, so i might just have to cook up some of this, and the sweet potato pie too.

    and yes, i think you ought to post these weekly-ish. i might participate occasionally, but before doing so i warn you — i have maybe two family recipes and the rest of the time i open up one of my ccokbooks, pick out a recipe, and start substituting whatever similar ingredients i have on hand [rather than, like, plan ahead, make a list, and go to the store].

    i like my beans over rice and my generously-buttered cornbread completely unsullied by any other substance [except for occasionally topping it with greens and hot sauce… as for the hot sauce, here’s a new link].

    • g2-37190d24041196ff0ae862db799fb502

      ‘beans’ — must be a California thing. Some folks call these ‘cowpeas.’ I think this recipe may actually qualify as soul food — as does, with no doubt, cornbread slathered with cooked greens. 🙂

      I had a new dish today. We’re moving one of the boys, and the wages I got for helping was a veggie plate at a local eatery. Roasted brussels sprouts with glazed pecans — ok, not great, but not bad; would’ve been better without the overcooked, therefore bitter, few sprouts. Tuscan broccoli, also pretty okay: red and yellow grape tomatoes, green and black olives stir-fried with chopped florets, in a vinai- grette. Kind of like a warm salad. But the best thing was the butter beans with kale and ham. Had not had that before. Really liked it. This place serves it with skillet cornbread — whole kernel corn baked in, along with chopped crispy bacon, very finely minced onion, and shredded Longhorn cheese. Good stuff….

  2. The Other Sarah

    Hi, hipparchia! You are more than welcome to come by anytime, and post as you like.

    I look forward to having recipes from you, too!

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