The Jewish Texan's Hoppin' John

December 28, 2009
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6 or more
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! Thinking about this classic black-eyed pea recipe brought out my Texan twang, and I'm Jewish, so I came to a lovely compromise, swapping the traditional ham hock and bacon for 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

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed peas
  • 6 to 8 slices of beef bacon, diced
  • 1 raw beef chorizo sausage (in casing)
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 serrano pepper, mostly deseeded and minced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced small (I used a red one)
  • 1 cup celery, diced small
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chili seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup white rice
  • A few pats of butter (optional, for garnish)
  • A few green onions (optional, for garnish)
  1. Soak the peas in water overnight. In a very large pot, fry the beef bacon until crisp. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
  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, bay leaf, thyme, chili seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Stir constantly until the onions are almost completely cooked through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drain the black eyed peas and add them to the pot. Add the beef stock and bacon. 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.
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  • dani
  • theicp
  • arielleclementine
  • Helenthenanny

4 Reviews

dani January 3, 2010
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.
theicp December 31, 2009
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!
Helenthenanny December 31, 2009
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!
arielleclementine December 30, 2009
a mighty-tasty hoppin' john!