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Hoppin' John

Macheesmo Recipe by
(4 reviews)
Hoppin' John
  • Prep Time 30 min
  • Total Time 2 hr 0 min
  • Servings 8
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Hoppin' John

A traditional Southern dish that'll give you good luck for the new year!

Ingredients

1
large ham hock (or 1 pound cubed ham)
1
pound black-eyed peas (soaked overnight)
1
large onion, diced
2
tablespoons olive oil
3
stalks celery, diced
1
green pepper, diced
2
whole jalapeños (optional)
4
cloves garlic
3
dried bay leaves
1
teaspoon dried thyme
1
teaspoon paprika
1
quart stock (chicken or veggie)
1
bunch kale or collard greens
1
salt and pepper to taste
3
cups rice (before cooking)

Directions

  • 1 Soak black-eyed peas overnight. Then add peas with ham hock or if you can't find a good ham hock you can just cut up 1 inch cubes of ham and add that to the pot. Cover with water and simmer until black-eyed peas are tender, about an hour.
  • 2 Drain beans and ham and set aside. If you're using a ham hock, it'll probably be too tough still to shred. Reserve 2 cups of cooking liquid. If using cubed ham, you can dice it smaller at this point.
  • 3 In a large stock pot, add your oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onions, celery, peppers, jalapenos, and garlic and cook until veggies are tender, a few minutes.
  • 4 Add spices to veggies and stir well to combine. Then add black-eyed peas and ham hock (or diced ham). Add stock and reserved cooking liquid from beans and bring to a simmer.
  • 5 Simmer until ham hock is tender, probably another hour. If you're just using cubed ham, you can just simmer for 30 minutes to combine flavors.
  • 6 Remove hock and shred off as much meat as you can. Return meat and hock to stock pot.
  • 7 Taste for salt and pepper and season well. Continue to simmer.
  • 8 Shred your kale or collard greens and add that to the pot. Cook for another 10 minutes (kale) or 20 minutes (collard greens)
  • 9 Serve over rice or with cornbread.
See Step By Step

Step By Step  

Let me start this post by saying straight up that I'm not from the South.

As prepared by Macheesmo,

It's important to note this because every year for New Year's I make Hoppin' John, a very Southern dish. If you're not familiar with it, it's a stew with black-eyed peas (for good luck!), ham, and veggies. It's absolutely fantastic on a cold winter day.

If you are familiar with it, you might think my version is crazy. Maybe I should've called it Hoppin' Jim just to avoid conflict.

For example, in my version I used kale instead of the standard collard greens.

Some of you may have just spit coffee on your keyboard.

I apologize if that offends you, but they have a very similar flavor and texture except kale cooks a bit quicker. That’s a win in my book.

I also serve my Hoppin' John over rice instead of with cornbread. This might be the straw that broke the camel’s back for some of you, but I prefer it with rice so that's how I make it.

If you want to go the cornbread route, maybe check out some of these cornbread ideas.

If you're still reading then it means you haven't closed your browser in disgust, so let's walk through how I make Hoppin' John!

RECIPE: Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John recipe

The real backbone of this dish is black-eyed peas and ham. Normally, I use a ham hock for this, but I wasn't able to find a good one so I used some really good ham that I cubed up instead.

I'd recommend using a ham hock if you can find one, but either way definitely works.

Combine the black-eyed peas and ham in a pot and cover them by a few inches of water. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the black-eyed peas are tender--about an hour.

When they are tender, drain the black-eyed peas and ham and reserve about two cups of the cooking liquid. There's a lot of flavor in that liquid and it's great to use in the soup later.

Hoppin' John recipe

While your black-eyed peas are cooking, you can prep the other vegetables.

Hoppin' John recipe

Dice the onion, pepper, garlic, and jalapenos to roughly the same size. We'll deal with the kale (or collard greens) later. You also can leave out the jalapenos, but I think they add a nice kick to the finished stew.

In a large stockpot, add a few tablespoons of oil. Heat this over medium-high heat and then add all your veggies. Cook for a few minutes until your veggies are soft and then add all the spices.

Hoppin' John recipe

Stir this all together and then add the black-eyed peas, ham, reserved cooking liquid, and stock.

Now, if you're using a hock (which I recommend), you'll need to simmer this for another hour or so until the ham hock is really tender. Then remove it, shred off as much meat as you can, and return the meat and bone to the soup. If you're using cubed ham, you can just dice the ham and add it right away. Then you'll only need to simmer the soup for another 30 minutes or so.

So the ham hock takes longer to cook, but the flavor is a bit deeper.

Once your soup is about ready to go, you can chop up your kale (or collard greens)!

Hoppin' John recipe

I like to use kale because it only needs about 10 minutes to cook. If you do use collard greens it'll take 30-45 minutes for the greens to get nice and tender so you'll want to add them earlier.

Either way you do it, kale or collard, ham hock or cubed ham, have no fear--you're going to end up with a really delicious final product.

Hoppin' John recipe

If you want to try this recipe out, try not to stress too much about the specifics. At the end of the day, it's pretty flexible, so just relax, put the soup pot on, and get ready for 2011!

Nick wishes everyone a very happy New Year's. He'll be kicking off 2011 in style on his blog, Macheesmo and on his Tablespoon profile.
See Recipe
Nutrition Information 

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

Serving Size: 1 Serving
Calories
515.7
Daily Value
Total Fat
11.4g
18%
(
Saturated Fat
2.9g
14%
)
Cholesterol
38.2mg
13%
Sodium
944.4mg
39%
Total Carbohydrate
78.9g
26%
(
Dietary Fiber
4.7g
19%
,
Sugars
5.5g
)
Protein
23.4g
Daily Value*:
Vitamin C
76.60%
77%
Calcium
13.90%
14%
Iron
15.60%
16%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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