This has been a tradition in my house for decades! I adopted the superstition that eating this dish on New Years will bring good luck all year. On a busy New Years Day, this is always on hand simmering on the back of the stove if guests drop by!
Serves: 8
Prep.Time: 20 minutes + 2 hours soaking
1 pound dried Black Eyed Peas -- washed and sorted
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 rib celery -- chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground Black Pepper
1 meaty ham bone or 2 smoked ham hocks
6 cups chicken stock or water
3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper flakes or 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
Place peas and enough water to cover into a large saucepan; bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Cover; remove from heat and let stand about 2 hours.
In a Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onions, celery and garlic in oil with a little sprinkle of salt and pepper to bring out the flavor. Drain peas and add to the pot. Add ham bone or ham hocks and remaining ingredients; bring to boil. Lower heat; cover and simmer 1-1/2 hours or until tender. Remove and discard bay leaves. Remove ham bone or hocks from the mixture to a plate; cut meat from the bone and return to the pot. Discard fat and gristle. Keep the pot warm on the back of the stove over very low heat (use a heat diffuser if needed to keep the peas from burning), to serve New Year's Day dinner and drop-in guests.

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Copyright 2001 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved