It happens every year, leftover ham from Christmas. For this chef, I always buy the biggest ham I can find every Christmas and there is always at least 6 to 8 pounds leftover. Leftover sandwiches after a day or two, meh! So what do you do?
How about Black-Eyed Peas and Ham? So easy to prepare and the perfect dish to celebrate New Year’s. Did you know black-eyed peas bring good luck on New Year’s? And you get to use up the leftover ham.
My mother always gave out black-eyed peas to all our family and employees on New Year’s Eve. She said it was for health, wealth and prosperity.
She also said the tradition was passed down to her from her mother-in-law, my Nana, who came from Shreveport, La. Of course, we know this is a Southern tradition.
According to Andrea Lynn of The Spruce, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s has been considered good luck for at least 1,500 years.
According to a portion of the Talmud written around 500 A.D., it was Jewish custom at the time to eat black-eyed peas in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (which occurs in autumn). It is possible that the tradition arrived in America with Sephardic Jews, who first arrived in Georgia in the 1730s.
Here is my family recipe that I’m sure you’re going to enjoy. Add some rice and you have another Southern dish, Hoppin John. I also suggest a slow cooker if you have the time. Leftovers of this dish also make for a great casserole.
Serve the Black-Eyed Peas and Ham with some fresh baked cornbread and you have a great meal to last all day long.
Happy New Year’s!
Jasper Mirabile’s Black-Eyed Peas and Ham
1 pound dry black-eyed peas
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 onion, diced
Baked ham bone
32 ounces chicken broth
4 cups water
1 jalapeño (diced)
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Soak beans overnight.
In a large stock pot, sauté onion in olive oil til translucent and add ham bone.
Pour in chicken broth along the water and stir in black-eyed peas. Season with jalapeño, bay leaves, salt and pepper and simmer until peas are tender and ham falls off the bone, about three hours.
Remove bay leaves before serving.
Chef Jasper J. Mirabile Jr. of Jasper’s runs his family’s 62-year-old restaurant with his brother. Mirabile is a culinary instructor, founding member of Slow Food Kansas City and a national board member of the American Institute of Wine and Food. He is host to many famous chefs on his weekly radio show “Live! From Jasper’s Kitchen” on KCMO 710 AM and 103.7 FM. He also sells dressings and sauces.