This takes a little advance planning so you can soak them at least 8 hours. I've cooked beans without soaking, but I had to keep an eye on them to be sure they did not go dry while cooking. We like add onions and peppers to our beans as well and if I've learned anything after all these years on a gluten free diet, the more ingredients you have in a canned or boxed product, the less likely it is to agree with my diet.
For our New Year's dinner, we plan to add cabbage slaw (because cabbage is for good luck with money) and maybe a little cornbread. Leftovers will be carried to work for lunch this next week. Enjoy!
Crock Pot Black Eyed Peas
- 1 lb bag dried black eyed peas
- 1 small onion
- 1 large poblano pepper
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (I've had good luck with McCormick brand)
- 2 large bay leafs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4 slices bacon, fried ahead of time or left over from breakfast and diced into small pieces or 1 c. diced ham (meat is optional. Be aware that meat preservatives can be a source of gluten or dairy. If you are very sensitive, plan accordingly or just leave it out.)
- Water as needed (or broth-I've used both. I've also used water with a couple of gluten/dairy free bullion cubes)
I like to 'pick' my dried peas or beans before I soak them (this is what my grandma always called it--not to be confused with picking beans off the vine). Occasionally you will find a small piece of gravel or a twig. Rare but definitely a spoiler if you cook it with your peas. I spread them out in a single layer, about 1/2 cup at a time on a clean table, counter top or large cutting board, and check for anything that does not look like a pea.
After picking the peas, I put them in a colander and rinse well with warm water. I then place them in a plastic bowl with a snug lid and add enough water to cover the peas plus about 3" more. I put the lid on and let them sit on the counter at least 8 hours. You can also stick them in the refrigerator and leave them for a day or so.
After the peas have soaked, I pour them into the crock pot (6 quart crockpot) and check to be sure there is at least 2" to 3" of water above the surface of the peas. Cook on high, with the lid on, 3-4 hours or low 6-8 hours. I don't add the seasonings or vegetables until the peas are fully cooked.
Chop the onion and pepper into fairly small pieces, (1/4" to 1/2") and add to the crock pot with the remaining ingredients. If you don't have at least an inch of fluid above the peas, add a little water or broth. Set the crock pot on high and cook covered about 1 hour. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
If you have too much juice in the peas, you can ladle some of the juice out and freeze it. Bean juice makes great soup stock. Better to have a little excess than have your peas cook down too dry.
Being children of the south, we love cornbread and black eyed peas. Crumble the cornbread into the bottom of a bowl, ladle on your black eyed peas and enjoy!