Saturday, December 31, 2011

Black-eyed peas

Enough of the history on w/the food!

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
(fresh or canned black-eyed peas can be substituted)
6 ounces pork shoulder diced into 1/2-inch cubes
4 strips thick bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 medium onion, small diced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons oil 
2 cups water
3 bay leaves
Hot-pepper vinegar, as desired
If using dried black-eyed peas, put in a large pot and cover with about 4 inches of water. Soak the peas overnight, then drain the water and rinse. You can "quick-soak" the peas by bringing them to a boil. (2 minutes) After this, remove from heat, cover the pot and soak the peas (1 hour) Then, dain and rinse the peas. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (shimmering) add pork. Sear until pork is browned on all sides (4 to 5 minutes) Add the bacon, onion and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until the onion and garlic are lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper, cayenne and garlic powder; saute until the entire mixture is coated with the spices (about 2 minutes) Pour in the stock and water and drop in the bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes.

When the pork begins to fall apart, add the prepared peas to the pot and simmer until the peas are very soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (If you want them creamy as when you cook red beans you can do either of two things. You can take the spoon you're cooking w/mashing them aside the pot. Or you can take out a small portion (about 1 cup or so) & puree them then back to the pot)

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