When Mary asked me to do a post in preparation for New Year’s Day, I immediately responded, “I’ll make Hoppin John!”. Why did I say that? I know it’s a tradition, but why? Turns out, according to tradition (Southern, mostly) you want to eat as many peas as possible on New Year’s Day to bring you prosperity. I’m in!
There are a few more reasons this recipe is perfect for today: I need to use up the left-over ham from Chistmas Eve (yes, there were left-overs after the Aldrich Tribe of 30 departed), Toby LOVES the flavors of bean and bacon soup so I know this will make him happy, and the black-eyed peas remind me of my Grandma Dorothy who I really miss this time of year.
Serve this Hoppin’ John with cornbread. The golden color is sure to add to your prosperity for the coming year.
Wishing all of you a wonderful and successful 2012!
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 cups boneless ham, diced
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 yellow onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
- 1¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. course ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper (more if you like a kick)
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- 1 - 16 oz. bag frozen black-eyed peas
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups chicken stock
- ⅛ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. chopped, flat-leaf parsley
- Cook chopped bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp.
- Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp. of fat from the pot.
- Brown the ham, then transfer to plate with bacon. Add 1 Tbsp. butter to the bacon fat in the pot and heat over moderate heat until foaming subsides.
- Cook onions seasoned with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, stirring occasionally, until caramelized (about 20 minutes).
- Add the celery to the pot and cook until softened. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add peas, broth, bay leaves, bacon and ham.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes until the beans are creamy and tender. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice; sprinkle with parsley and serve.