Southern tradition holds that if you eat Hoppin John on New Year’s Day, you will have good luck and prosperity in the New Year. One legend holds that the blackeyed peas represent coins and that green collards represent cash. Whether you believe in good luck or not, Hoppin John is a comforting dish for a cold winter day!
Cooking the Hoppin John with Collards together in one dish lets the flavors meld and hey, less dishes to wash, too!
Hoppin John is basically blackeyed peas served over rice. The seasonings can vary and it is often served along with collards. Being a fan of one-dish meals, I decided to cook the peas and collards together and let the flavors meld. This Hoppin John stew is seasoned with a ham hock, green and red peppers, celery, onion, garlic, and just a bit of cayenne pepper.
Looking for a hearty winter meal or a chance at good luck in the New Year? Start the year with Hoppin John with Collards!
- 1 lb dried black-eyed peas
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- ½ of a green bell pepper, chopped
- ½ of a red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 stalk of celery, chopped
- 1 ham hock
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- generous grind of black pepper
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 cups water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 bunch collards
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
- Add onion, peppers, celery and ham hock.
- Saute until starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and stir until aroma comes, 30 sec to a minute.
- Add chicken stock, water, vinegar, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, bay leaf, and black-eyed peas, and heat to boiling.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes.
- Strip collard leaves away from stems and discard stems.
- Slice into roughly 1 inch square pieces.
- After 15 minutes simmering add collards to pot.
- Cover and let the collards sit on top of the pea mixture about 15 mins until they wilt and then stir in.
- Simmer about another 30 minutes until black-eyed peas are tender, not mushy, and collards have lost their bright green color.
- Remove bay leaf and discard.
- Remove ham hock. When cool enough to handle, strip any meat from hock, chop and add back to Hoppin John.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice.