Any New Year can’t start right without this traditional Southern meal. In fact, if you don’t have Hoppin’ John and Collards on New Year’s Day, you’re likely setting yourself up for a year full of mishaps and other ill luck. It is ill-advised to have one without the other, and they share a number of ingredients, so the following recipe is for the whole kit and kaboodle.
An important note: some recipes call for removing the salt pork prior to serving these dishes. This is nonsense. The salt pork adds an extra level of deliciousness to each forkful and should not be discarded.
- 3 cups dry, pre-soaked black eyed peas
- 4 bunches collards (Some may be tempted, for reasons of either trend or cuteness, to substitute kale or some other such green for the collards. Please avoid the temptation; collards represent money, whereas kale represents probably linen or maybe curtains. Which would you rather have during the New Year?)
- 12 oz. salt pork, cubed
- 2 c. veggie broth
- 1 c. cider vinegar
- 1/4 c onion, minced
- 1/4 c onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
( 15 min. prep, 1.5 hrs cook time)
- In a large pot, add the black eyed peas and veggie broth.Add enough water to cover.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to med. low so the beans stay at a simmer.
- Stir in the minced onions, garlic, bay leaf and 1/2 of the salt pork.
- Cover, simmer for 1.5 hours. Add more water and/or broth as needed. Stir occasionally, until the whole mess is deliciously soft.
- Stir in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.
(20 min. prep, 2 hrs, 45 min cook time)
- In a second large pot, heat the olive oil on medium high until a drop of water sizzles.
- Add the salt pork and the chopped onion, and cook until onion is soft.
- When onion is soft, add cider vinegar.
- Simmer salt pork and onion on low for 45 minutes.
- While pork and onion are simmering, remove stems from greens and set aside. Cut leaves into strips, then chop stems into 1/2 inch pieces.
- After pork and onion have simmered for 45 minutes, add greens.
- Continue to simmer on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. More vinegar or water can be added to taste.
Serve Hoppin’ John on a bed of white rice or grits. TO REPEAT: Do Not Remove Salt Pork. Serve collard greens with cornbread to soak up the “potlikker”– the delicious liquid left in the pot. Douse entire mess liberally with hot sauce.