Black-eyed Peas for Good Luck

I think a person can create much of their own good luck by working hard, but I'm all for any tradition that involves gaining good luck by eating something delicious. Starting New Year's Day off with a meal of black-eyed peas to bring luck and prosperity has been observed at least since the Civil War, and probably even before that time. The traditional Southern New Year's Day good luck meal consists of black-eyed peas, pork, greens, and cornbread. I began the year today with the superb luck of having such a meal to start 2014, so no doubt I can look forward to a year of excellent fortune. Black-eyed peas are good any day of the year though, so no matter when you prepare this recipe I'm pretty sure it will be someone's lucky day.

Black-eyed Peas

1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 1/2 - 2 pounds smoked pork hocks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 Bay leaf

Place the black-eyed peas in a large bowl and cover completely with water. Soak overnight.

Place the pork hocks in a stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, until very tender. Remove from heat, and let cool until meat can be removed from bone. Separate meat from bone and gristle, then chop the meat; set aside.

Drain the black-eyed peas, and place in a large dutch oven, covering with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.

Coat a skillet with the olive oil and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onions begin to be transparent. Add sautéed onions and garlic, along with chopped pork, salt, pepper, and bay leaf to the simmering peas. Cover and cook for about one hour, or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Be sure to look for smoked pork hocks for this recipe. There's not much meat on these, but they are very flavorful. Some like to cook the pork hocks directly in the peas. I cook them separately because of the grease, but either way you prefer will work.


  1. Interesting. I wonder why the black eyed peas are considered lucky. We have a middle eastern tradition to eat black eyed peas for fertility. Best wishes for a Happy new year

    1. Thanks, Judee, and Happy New Year to you as well! Sounds like black-eyed peas are pretty powerful in lots of ways, just hope at my age I'm not quite that lucky this year!

  2. We ate our black eyed peas too! Happy New Year ♥

  3. Happy New Year Anita!
    Of course we would just love your Black Eyed Peas, they are a must have here on New Years Day! Thanks so much for bringing this awesome recipe to Full Plate Thursday today and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen

  4. Congratulations!
    Your recipe is featured on Full Plate Thursday this week. Enjoy your new Red Plate and have a great weekend!
    Miz Helen