About the only time we have black-eyed peas is on New Year’s Day when we cook them with rice. It’s a dish called Hoppin’ John, and it’s a southern favorite. Other than that, we seldom cook these suckers. Well, I recently found some on hand. To me, Hoppin’ John is good once a year. I had to create something new with this batch. So, I decided, why not pair them with sausage? It sounded okay. And it turned out magnificent. This dish you can have by itself or with rice. For the sausage, I used pork sausage. But you can use beef, chicken, turkey sausage or, if you’re in the mood for something spicier, Spanish chorizo sausage. Also, remember, if the sausage comes with a casing, remove such before cooking
Let me state that we used dried beans for this recipe. If desired, you can use the canned or frozen variety. However, it will not be the same in terms of texture and flavor. The extra bother of soaking the peas is well worth the effort. And, yes, I know, there’s a pop-rap group known as the Black Eyed Peas. They had nothing to do with this dish. Although I was sad when Fergie left the group. J. Rey Soul is a pretty good replacement.
BLACK-EYED PEAS WITH SAUSAGE
1½ cups dried black-eyed peas
2 sprigs fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 12-ounce package pork sausage, cut into ¼-inch rounds
1 small onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon fresh chopped oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons red wine
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- Soak black-eyed peas overnight with water to cover by about 2 inches. Drain and rinse.
- Place beans in a Dutch oven, heavy kettle or pot with water to cover by about 3 inches. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 1 hour or until peas are tender.
- While peas are cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet, add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add pork and oregano, and sauté until pork is brown. Add wine and cook over high heat until wine is absorbed and has evaporated. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes more.
- When beans have cooked, add sausage, season with salt and pepper, and stir to mix. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Yield: 4-6 servings.