Black-eyed peas are a Southern tradition on New Year’s Day. (If you want to be sure you’re getting all the luck the South can offer, eat them with collard greens and cornbread.)
Am I from the South? No, I’m a Midwestern boy, with Polish side of the family that believes in Pork and Sauerkraut for luck in the New Year. I’ve never had the nerve to mash the Southern and Polish New Years Day dinners together – greens and beans and pork and sauerkraut seems like a bit too much all at once.
That’s why I’m glad Black-eyed peas are also a soul food classic and a common barbecue side dish. I don’t have to wait for New Year’s Day to have a pot of these beans.
As always, my secret weapon for cooking dried beans is the pressure cooker. Black-eyed peas are surprisingly quick to cook in the pressure cooker. There’s no soaking necessary; they only take 15 minutes at high pressure, directly from dry beans. That makes them a side dish I’m willing to try on a weeknight – I can have them on the table inside of an hour, and most of that time is hands-off.
Video: Pressure Cooker Black-Eyed Peas (2:11)
Video: Pressure Cooker Black-Eyed Peas [YouTube.com]
Pressure Cooker Black-Eyed Peas recipe. Looking for good luck in the New Year? Or a simple Southern-style side dish? A pressure cooker prepares black-eyed peas in less than an hour.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, sorted and rinsed
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 cups water
- More salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning
- Sauté the aromatics: Heat the tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering (Sauté mode adjusted to high in my Instant Pot.) Add the onion and garlic to the pot and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute until the onion softens, about five minutes.
- Everything in the pot:Add the black-eyed peas and nestle in the ham hock. Pour in the water, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and lock the pressure cooker lid.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a Natural Pressure Release: Lock the lid and pressure cook for 15 minutes in an electric pressure cooker, or 12 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker. (On the Instant Pot, use the Manual or Pressure Cook setting, and set the cook time to 15 minutes.) When the cooking time is over, let the pressure come down naturally, about 20 minutes. (You can quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes if you’re in a hurry.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to avoid any hot steam.
- Season and serve: Discard the ham hock, and stir the pot. Taste and stir in salt and pepper until the beans go from bland to fully seasoned. (I usually add another half teaspoon to teaspoon of fine sea salt to the pot, plus a lot of fresh ground black pepper.) Serve and enjoy!
- Yes, only 15 minutes under pressure. Black-eyed peas cook fast.
- Shred the meat on the ham hock? The ham hock adds smoky pork flavor to the beans. Once the beans are cooked, the hock has done its job. Most hocks don’t have enough meat to be worth shredding and should be thrown away after cooking. If you can see a lot of meat on the hock, and you don’t mind the extra work, separate it from the skin, fat, gristle, and bone. Shred the meat and stir it into the beans.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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