Saturday, January 1, 2011

Black Eyed Peas

Well, I finished my first recipe and we all survived. I started out with four pieces of uncooked bacon and chopped them into rough bits. This bacon really didn't want to chop so it looked like a great big mess, but I threw it all in the three quart sauce pan anyway.

I let the bacon cook over medium heat until it was pretty well cooked, then I added one small onion, also chopped.

I also added about a tablespoon of minced garlic.  I used the kind from the jar and I think that is okay.  I also use the handle end of my spoon to scoop it out of the jar because it fits better than a regular spoon and it makes one less dish to wash.

At this point, I realized that I had forgotten the pepper. I quickly chopped it an added it to the pan with the bacon, onions and garlic.

I let the veggies saute in the bacon drippings until they were all soft and translucent (not so much the pepper, but the onions and the garlic.

I poured in about one quarter cup of beer to loosen the yummy, flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan.

I dumped in the soaked beans, and I added two cups of chicken stock. I used some that I had in the freezer, but canned is also fine.

I mixed it all together and put in on the lowest possible heat. It was hard to keep it from boiling.

It simmered for about an hour. I thought it would be done much sooner and checked it frequently. Once the beans were soft, it was done.

I failed to get a picture of it in the serving bowl. My family is really not on board with this blog plan yet and they were starving.

The Verdict

I served this with plain white rice, cornbread, and a ham roast. (If you've never seen a ham roast, like me, it is like a ham steak but thicker.) I was amazed at how much my kids like it. One didn't like it at all, one declared it "not half bad," one said it was great with rice, and one said it was great with ham. I was afraid we were going to run out. Both my husband and I were quite surprised at how much the kids ate. We think it helped a lot that they were really hungry.

I didn't like the beans plain but I liked it a lot with the rice, or the ham, or both. I can also see that it would be good to crumble the cornbread and dump the beans on top. I'm not sure if I'll make it again, but it was a great first experiment!

4 pieces of bacon
one small onion, chopped small
one tablespoon of minced garlic
one bell pepper, chopped small
black eyed peas (1 cup before soaking)
1/4 cup beer, optional
2 cups chicken stock or broth

Chop the raw bacon into 1/2 inch pieces. It doesn't have to be neat or even.

Cook bacon over medium heat 4-5 minutes, until the bacon is nearly cooked.

Add the onion, garlic and pepper. Saute over medium heat another 2-3 minutes, until it is all soft and yummy looking.

Deglaze the pan with beer, if desired.

Add the black eyed peas.

Add chicken stock and bring to a low simmer. Simmer until the beans are soft, which can take anywhere from 1/2 hour to a hour. Mine took about an hour.

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