Hoppin’ John originated in antebellum South Carolina. It is also referred to as Carolina Peas & Rice. A savory dish of peas and rice with bacon and vegetables. The old South version was a simple recipe made up just of pork, field peas (black eyed peas) and rice. As with most things we’ve embellished it a bit today adding more ingredients. There are variations from person to person as well as regions of the South today.
It’s a tradition for many southerners to have Hoppin’ John as part of a traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal alongside a helping of greens to bring luck in the coming year. This tradition can be traced back to the war between the states.
- 1/4 lb Pancetta or Bacon, diced
- 1 Large Bell Pepper, diced
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 c Celery, diced
- 1 Clove Garlic, minced
- 1 Jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed), diced
- 1 lb Black Eyed Peas
- 1 c Ham, cubed
- 4 c Chicken Stock
- 4 c Water
- 1/2 tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2.5 c Rice
Soak dried peas for 6 hours or overnight. Drain before using.
In a large stock pot, saute pancetta or bacon over medium heat. Add cubed Ham. Cook until the fat is rendered from the meat.
Add the diced vegetables and garlic. Saute until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the chicken stock and water. Add seasonings and bay leaf.
Add the black eyed peas.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until the peas are tender, stirring occasionally.
Add rice and cook an additional 20 minutes. Simmer longer if needed to reduce the amount of liquid.
Try it with shrimp or slice smoked sausage