My grandpa was a great cook. In fact a few of my recipes are inspired by his dishes he created. One thing though, that doesn’t ever stray is his Hoppin’ John recipe. We only make it once a year, for the New Year obviously lol. It is sooo good and one of the meals I always look forward to making for my family. And even though it has beans, which we usually don’t eat, it is one of our family traditions and traditions trump!!
If you don’t know what hoppin’ john is let me tell ya a little bit about it. Hoppin John is a black eyed pea and rice dish. In the southern United States, eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins, and a coin is sometimes added to the pot or left under the dinner bowls. We don’t do the coin thing, but what a great idea, especially if you are looking for new traditions to start!
- 1 lb dry black eyed peas
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 lbs+ ham hocks
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup of celery, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme and sage (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1/2 tsp pickling spice
- Garnish (optional): chopped red onion and malt vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- Soak peas overnight.
- The next day drain and rinse and place into crockpot
- Add all other ingredients and set on low for 6-8 hours
- With an hour left, remove ham hocks and take meat off the bones.
- Add ham back into the crock pot.
- You may need to add a bit of water to the crockpot if it is looking a little dry.
- Once done serve over a little rice (optional) and garnish with a little red onion and a splash of vinegar.
I like to have it cook all day in the crock pot, but you could easily do it on the stovetop. This was my first time using fresh herbs in this recipe and man oh man do I recommend doing that!! I mean nothing beats fresh herbs. (note to self: use more fresh herbs) Also, for some reason ham hocks can be a bit hard to find. If you can’t find any you can substitute with some good thick cut regular ham (not honey ham, blech)
Do you guys make Hoppin’ John to ring in the New Year?