Today we are having one of my favorites meals of homemade comfort food heaven: Southern style barbecue pulled pork, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and macaroni and cheese. By far my husband makes the best mac and cheese I have ever had in my life. And sorry, he doesn't give out the recipe ;) So I am stuck with giving you my black-eyed peas recipe, which the whole family loves as well. (At least, that is what they say....haha) It is surprisingly healthy- unlike that macaroni and cheese that makes you gain five pounds just smelling it- and can optionally be made with more liquid added along the way and some favorite veggies to make a yummy soup.
What you will need:
1 Bag of dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked.
10 cups Water
1 Smoked ham hock
1 Green tomato, quartered
1 Small Jalapeno, halved and seeds removed
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and halved
8 Fresh sage leaves
3 Sprigs of thyme
1/4 Large red onion, halved
1-2 tablespoons Salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon White pepper
Bring first 8 ingredients to boil all together in a large pot or dutch oven. Turn down burner to low and let simmer for one hour. Stir occasionally and check water level to make sure water is always above the beans as they cook. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue simmering on low until beans are tender and soft with no graininess, always remembering to stir occasionally. Remove ham hock from the pot, and cut of all meat from the bone and chop up into small pieces. Remove garlic, herbs, pepper, and onion (or leave them in and just avoid them when serving). Add ham hock meat back in, and stir. Serves 8-10 as a side dish.