Black Eyed Peas and Tasso
Yield - 2-1/2 Gallons (about 40-50 dinner servings)
3 LBS DRIED BLACK EYED PEAS
2 GALLONS CHICKEN STOCK (See Chef's Notes below)
3 LARGE YELLOW ONIONS (Diced)
1 TBSP RED PEPPER FLAKES
1/4 CUP PICKLED JALAPEÑOS (Chopped)
2 LBS TASSO (1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 CUP FRESH MINCED GARLIC
2 TBSP DRIED THYME LEAVES
DRIED SWEET BASIL LEAVES
8 BAY LEAF
Combine the above in a 20 quart stock pot, place in cooler and allow the peas to soften. (about 30 minutes)
Remove from cooler, and place the pot on stove top, over high heat. Bring the pot to a boil, stirring occasionally, lower heat to medium/low and continue to simmer 35 minutes, or until the peas are tender and just start to cream. Add water occasionally to maintain liquid level, stir often to ensure that peas do not stick to bottom of the pot. DO NOT OVER COOK!
from heat and allow peas to rest undisturbed for 30 minutes. This gives
the peas time to finish cooking but not mush.
Remove bay leafs.
3 LBS SMOKED HAM (Shank portion with bone, meat cut into 1 inch cubes)
Add the meat at the beginning of the cooking process, simmer the peas an additional 30 minutes. This alternate method will give the peas more of a creamy look and taste.
LOT - CHICKEN STOCK RICE (See Recipe)
Use a large (20 -24 inch diameter) bamboo bowl or a pre-warmed ceramic platter and place the rice around the perimeter. Then add peas to the center of the platter.
The recipe calls for a LOT of Chicken Stock (and VERY expensive if you don't make it yourself), so you might want to substitute chicken base and water.... This will also lower the sodium content and YOU control the flavor and concentration!
I like to use tasso in this recipe rather than bacon or a cured ham product, it is a pure Cajun seasoning. BUT, I do like to add a ham bone..... BTW, the leanness of tasso adds a great flavor without adding much fat.
Remember you are not making New Orleans Style Red Beans and Rice, the peas should retain their original shape and NOT break apart.
Black Eyed Peas are a GREAT New Year's Tradition... They reflect the Southern thoughts of a new beginning and life.
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Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
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Revised: January 25, 2017
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