Black-eyed Peas and Cornbread

Happy New Year! Yes, I realize it’s the 9th, but it’s taken me awhile to get into the swing of 2012. The holidays wiped me out. We did, however, enjoy a lovely New Year’s Day meal that Jon says was full of symbolism. The black-eyed peas represent coins (presumably wealth) and the cornbread and pork represent an awareness of people who have less than we do. Sounds fancy, huh? I just shook my head and went with it.

This meal exceeded my expectations. I am fairly certain the secret to its success is the smoked pork neck. Sounds gross, I know. Believe me, it looks gross too, but the resulting flavor is a rich, smoky, savory undertone to the entire dish. Combined with the texture of the beans and rice, I am apt to say this is one of my favorite meals. I say that a lot. I am sure it’s getting old. Perhaps I am easily pleased. Or perhaps, Jon is the greatest cook of all time. I will let you decide.

Black-eyed peas ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, halved and sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 smoked pork neck bones
  • 32 oz organic chicken broth
  • 2 15 oz cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • ¾ cup brown rice
Cornbread ingredients:
  • 1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 can corn, drained and rinsed

Preparation: 

Begin broth:  Melt 1 tbsp butter in a large sauce pan and sauté the onion and carrots to soften. Lay the neck bones on top of the vegetables and cover with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 2.5 hours to break down collagen in the meat and season the broth with the bones. Remove the neck bones from the sock and pull off the meat. The meat should release easily. Reserve ¾ cup broth to use for rice.

Make cornbread:  While meat is simmering, in a bowl, beat egg. Add milk and sour cream and mix. Add cornbread mix and corn. Pour into greased 8×8 pan. Increase cooking time on box by 5 mins. Toothpick in center should come out clean. If not, bake a little longer.

Make Rice:  Melt 1 tbsp butter in small sauce pan add rice and stir rice until it just begins to brown. Since brown rice is made with a 2:1 ratio liquid to rice, dilute broth with ¾ cup water and add to rice. The broth should boil quickly then cover and lower heat. The rice will take 45-50 mins.

Meanwhile, place the meat back in the broth and add black-eyed peas.  Simmer uncovered to help reduce some of the broth.

When everything is complete, serve together.  The cornbread is very moist and somewhat sticky.  I suggest serving it layered (cornbread, rice, black-eyed peas) and with some greens or cabbage on the side.  The next day it is even better.

 

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