I was escorting the missus on her shopping duties, so I decided to do some marketing of my own. Sadly, I don't have the same budget as my wife's clients, so I was taken aback by the prices at Whole Foods and Gelsons. Holy hell, I paid $11 for two ham hocks and $5 for four pieces of thick cut bacon.
Despite the wallet gouging, I managed to pull off a wonderful meal. I understand that black-eyed peas on New Year's Day are a traditional way to ring in the new year in the South. I guess I am a day late, so maybe next year.
Black-Eyed Peas with Bacon and Ham Hock
16 ounces black-eyed peas, frozen
4 slices thick cut bacon, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
48 ounces chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 ham hock
1. Cook the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat. Remove bacon when it is browned and reserve for another use.
2. Sweat onions, garlic and celery in the bacon grease until soft.
3. Add stock, ham hock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high until it starts to boil, then reduce to a simmer.
4. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Skim occasionally.
5. Blend 1 cup of the stew in a blender then add back to the pot.
6. Remove ham hock from stew and pull out as much meat as possible. Place meat back in stew and serve.
This is an easy to prepare, yet flavorful stew. In the future I might try substituting the celery with fennel in order to add some depth of flavor.