Slow cooker black eyed peas are a fantastic New Year's day tradition. Making them with hardly any effort? Even better.
Do you have a New Year's Day dinner? Where I live, in the South East, you’ll find most families feasting on New Year's day. A meal consisting of greens, whether they are collards, mustard or turnip greens, black eyed peas, corn bread, and ham (or any style of pork). I grew up in the north, so when I first moved down to the south 15+ years ago, I wasn’t familiar with this tradition.
We had a neighbor invite us over for a meal, and after that I was sold on the "New Year's Day Dinner". I love collard greens and black eyed peas, and oh boy, do I love me some cornbread. So you don’t really have to sell me on this tradition. I’m glad my parents moved my family to the south, because I love southern food.
You might be wondering why eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day? Eating black- eyed peas for the New Year is supposed to give you luck and prosperity. The peas represent coins. The greens represent paper money, and if you eat corn bread with black eyed peas and greens, it is supposed to represent gold. Overall it’s a good luck thing!
Making my slow cooker black eyed peas is super easy. I love that I can let it cook all day long and we can go about our day. (Usually putting away all the Christmas decorations.) Oh, and the flavors being simmered for hours brings to this slow cooker black eyed peas recipe is unreal. I use bacon to give the smoky ham taste, rather than a ham bone or fatback. It really comes down to what you have on hand is what you use in the recipe. I always have bacon on hand, so that works for me.
You do need to pre-soak the beans before they cook in the slow cooker. This step is vital to have well-cooked and flavorful beans. Don’t skip it! There are two different methods you can do:
- Quick Soak: place the bag of dried black eyed peas in a large pot. Cover with 8 cups of water and bring it to a rapid boil for 5 minutes. Then, remove the black eyed peas from the heat and cover with a lid and let it stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the black eyed peas.
- Overnight Soak: Place the bag of dried black eyed peas in a large pot. Cover the peas with 8 cups of water and place a lid on the pot. Let it stand overnight (or at least 8 hours). Then rinse and drain the peas and they are ready to go.
Whichever method you decide on is totally up to you. If I forget to soak the night before I typically go with the quick soak. You just have to presoak in order to get a soft pea.
Whether you're having a New Year's Day Feast, or just want to make slow cooker black eyed peas any day of the year, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!
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