Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John, the dish with the curious name.  Black-eyed peas are a staple of Southern cooking in the United States, featured on every table, rich and poor, city and country.  Black-eyed peas are the base ingredient of this dish. Hoppin’ John is traditionally served over steamed white rice on New Year’s Day accompanied by sautéed greens; legend has it that it will bring good luck throughout the year to all who partake of it.  Now you don’t have to live in the American South nor wait until New Year’s for it, make some any time you like. While there are many Hoppin’ John recipes, we think ours brings together black-eyed peas and smoked pork for creamy, wonderful results. Refrigerate leftover Hoppin’ John, it is great reheated the next day, some say it tastes even better!

Hoppin' John

Time: Overnight soaking plus 1 hour 30 minutes of cooking time plus time to debone the ham hock. Yields a large pot of Hoppin’ John.


  • 1lb dried Black-Eyed Peas, rinsed
  • 1 tb Cooking Oil (recommend Olive/Canola Oil blend)
  • 4 slices meaty, smoked Bacon, diced
  • 1 large Carrot, sliced thinly
  • 2 stalks Celery, sliced thinly
  • 1 large Onion, diced, approximately ½ cup
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 6 sprigs fresh Thyme or 1 tsp dried Thyme leaves
  • 1 tb fresh Oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper or Chile de Arbol powder
  • 1 smoked Ham Hock, rinsed
  • 2 cups Water
  • Steamed white rice

Hoppin' John


  1. Pour the dried black-eyed peas into a 3-quart saucepan, cover with water and soak overnight. The next day, pour off the soaking water, rinse with fresh water and drain the peas.  Add the peas back into the 3-quart saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Parboil the peas for 10 to 15 minutes, then drain, rinse in cool water and drain the peas again, letting them cool down again.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, 6 or 8 qt Dutch oven over a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the bacon and sauté until the bacon is crisp.
  4. Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic, lower the heat to medium, stir all ingredients together, cover and sauté until the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add the black-eyed peas, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, ham hock and water to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a rolling boil for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  The black-eyed peas should be tender but not mushy when done. 
  6. Remove the ham hock from the Hoppin’ John, place in a bowl and allow to cool down enough to handle it, then debone the ham and return it to the Hoppin’ John.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs prior to serving.
  8. Serve by spooning the Hoppin’ John over freshly steamed white rice and enjoy.

Hoppin' John

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