How to Cook Hopping John

by John the Basque

A traditional New Years Day dish from the Carolina states.


  • 2 Cups black eye peas (dry)
  • 2 Cups Red Rice
  • 6 Ounces smoked bacon
  • 1 Pinch fresh ground rosemary
  • 2 Shallots (large & small)
  • 1 Bay leaf (broken)
  • 1 Cup beef broth
  • 3 Cups water
  • cooking spray
  • salt & pepper
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Pre-soak black eye peas over night in 6 cups water.

    Step 2

    Coarsely slice bacon into 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips. Spray bottom of deep sauce pan with cooking spray. Cook bacon at medium heat, until it begins to brown stirring every couple of minutes.

    Step 3

    While bacon cooks peel 1 large and 1 small shallot.

    Step 4

    Remove bacon from pan using a slotted spoon or similar put bacon on top of pre-soaked black eye peas. Drain off 1/2 of the bacon fat from pot.

    Step 5

    Slice all of the shallots in half (shallots have multiple sections when you peel them so it looks like more that 2.

    Step 6

    Coarsely chop the shallots not to fine this is a country dish.

    Step 7

    Sauté shallot in remainder of the bacon drippings. When the shallot turns translucent, add pinch of rosemary and bay leaf. Cook about 30 seconds more.

    Step 8

    Add black eye peas with bacon stir in beef broth and add 2 cups water liquid should cover all ingredients by about a 1/4 to 1/2 inch, as shown. Cook covered 90 minutes or until peas are just done.

    Step 9

    Stir in red rice bring to boil medium heat, allow to cook covered about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to lowest possible setting and let stand covered 20 minutes. Fluff with fork

    Step 10

    Hopping John is served traditionally with Collard greens, I offer pickled hot chilies and tabasco as condiments.