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.
I’m going to give you my traditional version as well as a short cut version. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I do. This is a hearty meal we enjoy during the cold winter months.
Southern Hoppin’ John Recipe
- Pancetta or Bacon, diced
- Bell Pepper, diced
- Yellow Onion, diced
- Celery, diced
- Garlic, minced
- Jalapeno (ribs and seeds removed), diced
- Black Eyed Peas
- Ham, cubed
- Chicken Stock
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Bay Leaf
Creative Black Eyed Peas Recipes
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. Next, add the 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.
Southern Style Hoppin John
- 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 the dried black eyed peas overnight then drain before cooking.
- In a dutch oven or large pot, saute the pancetta (or bacon) over medium heat then add the ham and cook until the fat drippings have rendered from the meat.
- Next, add the vegetables and garlic then saute for five minutes.
- Next, add the chicken stock and water then the seasonings and a bay leaf.
- Next, add the black eyed peas.
- Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the peas are tender.
- Stir occasionally.
- Lastly, add the rice and cook and additional 20 minutes. Simmer longer if needed to reduce the amount of liquid.
- Serve as is or with a wedge of Southern skillet cornbread.
Serving Size:1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 244Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 462mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g
Cajun Style Hoppin John
Try it with shrimp or slice smoked sausage to give this dish a Cajun twist.