Classic Hoppin’ John

By: Hannah Lee Leidy
Photo by Sarah Hanna

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Serves 8


  • 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 pound fatback
  • ½ small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 cups par-boiled rice
  1. Check through field peas to make sure there are no stones. Cover peas with water and let soak for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly; set aside.
  2. While peas are soaking, make the stock: In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, combine ham hock, fatback, and 1 gallon water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until stock is milky white, about 1 hour.
  3. Once peas are ready, return stock to a boil. Add onion and garlic and simmer for 20 minutes. Add peas and cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt to taste, then simmer for another 15 minutes. Drain peas and keep warm.
  4. Bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Add rice and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
  5. To serve, fluff rice with a fork and transfer to serving dish. Top with black-eyed peas.
  • Ronnie Holt of Mary Mac’s Tea Room, Atlanta, Georgia

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