The Jewish Texan's Hoppin' John

By • December 28, 2009 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Ain't no two ways about it, my Hoppin' John's got beef, beef, and more beef-- that's what makes it so special! I'm so sorry, just couldn't resist. Thinking about this black eyed pea recipe brought out my Texan twang, which was a bit disconcerting because I am quite Jewish, but I think I came to a lovely compromise with my Hoppin' John: I decided, rather than use the traditional ham hock and bacon that most Hoppin' Johns call for, to use beef. Beef bacon, beef stock, and beef sausage. All that, plus a little bit of Texas spice, and I think I've created a dish that not only showcases the black eyed pea in all its splendor, but one that I'd be happy to serve at my next Shabbat as well. I hope you like it too. Helenthenanny

Serves 6+

  • 1 1/2 dried black eyed peas, soaked in water overnight
  • 6-8 slices of beef bacon, diced
  • 1 raw beef chorizo sausage (in casing)
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, mostly deseeded and minced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced small (I used a red one)
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup white rice
  • a few green onions (optional, for garnish)
  • a few pats of butter (optional, for garnish)
  1. In a very large pot, fry the beef bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside, leave as much bacon fat in the pot as possible.
  2. Turn the heat down to low and add the beef chorizo sausage by squeezing the meat from the casing. Use a wooden spoon to break into small chunks. Add the onion, garlic, serrano pepper, bell pepper, celery, herbs, and spices. Stir constantly until the onions are almost completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drain the water from the black eyed peas and add them to the pot. Add the beef stock to the pot along with the beef bacon from before. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. After twenty minutes, stir in the white rice and cook for 25 more minutes, or until the rice and beans are tender and delicious. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with a pat of butter and some green onions.

More Great Recipes: Beans & Legumes|Entrees|Side Dishes|Stews

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Comments (4) Questions (0)


over 5 years ago dani

You came up with a really fun idea. I was at a loss for a decent black-eyed pea recipe for New Year and this was terrific. The history was interesting,too.


over 5 years ago theicp

I just had a very interesting conversation with my Dad, and I thought you would be interested based on your recipe! I always thought black-eyed peas were a Texan tradition. (Turns out I was wrong!) Sephardic Jews were recorded to have eaten black-eyed peas for good luck during Rosh Hoshana in Babylonian times. He even said that the Talmud at one point dictates why black-eyed peas symbolize good luck. In the 1780's, the first Sephardic settlers were recorded to have migrated to Georgia where they not only continued the black-eyed pea tradition, but they added greens to symbolize money and ham to symbolize modernity and progress. I thought that was so fascinating and thought you would enjoy that little nugget o' trivia!


over 5 years ago Helenthenanny

Oh my, ICP, I do LOVE this little nugget!! Yes, in Texas the saying is almost the same, friends of mine have told me that, like you said, black eyed peas are for luck, greens are for money, and ham is for progress because pigs root forward. And, yes, that's how they said it, that pigs root with their little snouts in a forward motion! Apparently they are incapable of "rooting" backwards, so there is a nugget for you! Thanks for the fun fact!


over 5 years ago arielleclementine

a mighty-tasty hoppin' john!