Slow Cooker Hoppin' John

Bowl of hoppin' john
Smneedham/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
215 Calories
1g Fat
43g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 215
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 282mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Protein 10g
Calcium 70mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Southern tradition dictates that a bowlful of Hoppin' John, a stew of black-eyed peas and rice, should be the first thing you eat on New Year's Day, guaranteeing a prosperous year. Another version of this tradition says you'll have a lucky day for each pea you eat. Whether or not these myths are true, this is still a hearty and flavorful meal to enjoy on New Year's Day or any winter day for that matter. Smoked ham hock gives the dish a smoky, rich, flavor, but you can make a vegetarian version if you like.

Making it even more ideal for New Year's, this recipe is made in the slow cooker; just put the ingredients in before you head out for your New Year's Eve festivities, and it will simmer all night long so it's ready for New Year's Day brunch. Be sure to soak the beans before putting them in the crockpot.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas (soaked)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 rib celery (diced)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups long-grained white rice
  • Garnish: hot pepper sauce to taste (such as Tabasco Sauce)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large (6 quart) slow cooker crock, combine the soaked beans, onion, celery, bell pepper, garlic, and ham hock.

  2. Pour the chicken stock into the slow cooker crock and stir to combine the ingredients. Add the bay leaf and push it into the liquid until it's submerged.

  3. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, until beans are tender. Discard the bay leaf and the ham hock. The stew can also be cooked on high for 4 to 5 hours.

  4. Before serving, prepare the rice as you would normally.

  5. To serve, spoon some cooked white rice into a bowl and ladle Hoppin' John over the rice. Pass hot pepper sauce at the table for everyone to season to their liking.

Recipe Tips

You can soak the black-eyed peas one of two ways: either overnight or using the quick-soak method. No matter which technique, however, you first need to pick over the beans and then rinse. To soak overnight, place in a large pot and cover with water so it comes 2 inches above the level of the beans. Add 2 tablespoons of coarse kosher salt or 1 tablespoon of table salt and let sit until morning. Drain and rinse before using.

For the quicker method, place the beans in a large pot and cover with cool water so it reaches 3 inches over the beans. Add salt if you like and bring to almost a boil; cover and let sit off of the heat for an hour. Drain and proceed with recipe.

To make a vegetarian version of this Hoppin' John recipe, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock or vegetarian chicken-flavored stock. Omit the ham hock. Season to taste when the stew is finished cooking with smoked paprika, chipotle seasoning, or bacon salt.