Serving
(click to enlarge)

Hoppin John
US Deep South

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6
**  
13 hrs  
Yes

In the American South, this dish is often eaten on New Years Day, as it is reputed to bring good luck. Exact details vary - the most complex say you must eat 365 beans to have good luck every day of the year, but if you eat 368 you will have three days of bad luck (2 in leap years).


1
2-1/2
1/2
------
10
6
2
4.5
1
1
1/3
------

c
c
T
---
oz
oz

c
c
t
t
---

Blackeye Peas (1)
Water
Salt
--
Ham Hocks (2)
Onion
Red Chili, dry
Water
Rice, long grain (3)
Salt
Pepper
-- Serve with
Southern Greens (4)
Corn Bread (5)
Prep   -   (8 hrs - 7 min work)
  1. Soak BLACKEYES in water with 1/2 T Salt for 8 hours or overnight. Yes, salt (see our Soaking / Brining Beans page.
  2. Chop ONION small.
Run   -   (4-1/2 hrs)
  1. In a saucepan, place HAM HOCK and 4-1/2 cups Water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 to 3-1/2 hours, or until the bones can easily be removed.
  2. Remove the hock. Strip out the bones and discard. Dice the meat fairly small. Place the Meat and Cooking Liquid into a saucepan big enough for the whole recipe.
  3. Drain and rinse the Blackeyes. Add them to the pot along with Onions and Chilis. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down, cover tightly and simmer slowly until beans are tender but not mushy, around 30 minutes.
  4. Now comes the tricky part. The amount of water I call for is probably just a little short, because too little water can easily be corrected, and too much is disaster. Bring some water to a boil as you will probably need some. Stir in Rice, Salt and Pepper. Bring to a boil, cover tightly and simmer over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Check if it is too dry to completely cook the rice. If so, add a little boiling water and stir. Cover tightly and let simmer another 10 minutes, checking once more if you need to.
  5. Take off the heat, and, without lifting the lid, let rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Check seasoning. Serve with Greens and Corn Bread.
NOTES:
  1. Blackeye Peas:   These are now much used in the American South, but the dish may have originally been made with Pigeon Peas. Both Blackeye Peas and Pigeon Peas were brought from Africa.
  2. Ham Hocks, Smoked:   Smoked hocks are easily available in most of North America. Some recipes call for Hog Jowl, but I consider that way too fatty, and it's not so widely available anyway.
  3. Rice:   Originally this was Carolina rice, descended from Indian Patna rice, and was a major crop in the Carolinas. It is no longer grown there because methods were completely dependent on slavery. "Carolina" rice is now grown in Texas and Louisiana, but I just use Thai Jasmine rice which I always have on hand.
  4. Southern Greens:   For details, see our recipe Southern Greens.
  5. Corn Bread:   This is the bread of the Deep South. For details see our recipe Corn Bread.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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