Welcome the New Year with a traditional good-luck recipe from the South, Slow Cooker Hoppin’ John.
Have you heard of Hoppin’ John before? It’s not something that I grew up eating, but it’s something that I’ve seen all over as a good luck recipe to welcome the New Year. Hoppin’ John is a savoury blend of black-eyed peas and rice, that originated in the Southern United States. There are many versions made, but typically it’s a combination of onions, rice, black-eyed peas, collard greens and bacon that’s brightened with a touch of cider vinegar at the end. Sounds pretty delicious, don’t you think? Reading about the history of Hoppin’ John was fascinating (I’m a huge nerd about food history) and I highly recommend you take a read – it’s interesting the way the dish is impacted by ingredients used. Back when this dish was being made in the 19th century, the quality of ingredients (and the actual ingredients themselves) used were completely different, instead of black-eyed peas they used “cow peas” or “red peas” which aren’t varieties that are produced en masse anymore and even the rice was different and more flavourful. It’s interesting the way our food has changed over the years, sometimes for the better, but not always.
I’ve seen different recipes for Hoppin’ John that are quite elaborate with loads of spices and add-ins, but I wanted to try and stick to something simple but still with lots of flavour. I also wanted this dish to be slow cooker friendly because let’s face it, a lot of us will be pretty tired on New Year’s day, so having a dish that requires a little bit of prep, then cooks away in the slow cooker all day (while you nap, naturally) is a winner to me. If you’re looking for another simple slow cooker favourite to make during a sleepy afternoon, try my Shredded Puttanesca Chicken in the slow cooker.
This slow cooker Hoppin’ John is really easy but there are a few parts to it. Before you get started, note that it requires soaking the dried black-eyed peas overnight (canned won’t work in the slow cooker, they will turn to mush). After they are soaked, they get added to the slow cooker along with some sautéed onions, bacon and celery and liquid before cooking away for 8 hours over low until everything is creamy and delicious. The last step is adding the rice and collard greens and then it cooks on high for the final hour. Here’s to a great year filled with luck, love and happiness, thanks for spending time with me over the past year.
Give this slow cooker Hoppin’ John a try this year, let me know how it goes in the comments below.