Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards and Ham Hocks from Jean Anderson’s Falling off the Bone
As easy as it is economical, this hearty soup takes the chill off those first frosty days of autumn, and once everything’s in the pot, virtually cooks itself. Best of all it can be made in advance and is even better after a night in the fridge. So when friends come over to watch football, serve steaming bowls of Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards and Ham Hocks along with chewy chunks of country bread. Nothing more is needed. Note: I use country ham hocks for this soup because of their deep smoky flavor, but "packing house" ham hocks are perfectly good. Whichever you choose, make sure there's "plenty of meat on them bones." --Jean Anderson
1 pound dried black-eyed peas, washed, sorted, and soaked overnight in enough cold water to cover
1/4 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large bunch fresh collards (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 1/2 pounds meaty smoked ham hocks (see headnote)
1 quart (4 cups) beef or chicken broth
1 quart (4 cups) cold water
12 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt, if needed to taste
Drain black-eyed peas, rinse well, drain again, and set aside.
Heat drippings in a large heavy Dutch oven over moderately high heat until ripples appear on pan bottom—1 1/2 to 2 minutes.
Add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until limp and lightly browned—about 10 minutes. Add collards and cook, stirring now and then, until wilted—about 5 minutes. Mix in black-eyed peas.
Anchor ham hocks in vegetables, add broth, water, and peppercorns, and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust so liquid bubbles gently, cover, and simmer, stirring now and then, until black-eyed peas are tender and ham all but falls from bones—1½ to 2 hours.
Note: Check pot now and then and if soup threatens to scorch, reduce burner heat to lowest point and slide a diffuser underneath pot.
Lift ham hocks to a cutting board and strip meat from bones. Add to soup along with hot pepper sauce to taste, and salt, if needed. Discard bones.
Ladle into heated soup plates and accompany with freshly baked corn bread or chunks of good country bread. Better yet, cool soup, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Next day, reheat and serve.
From trusted cookbook author and food writer Jean Anderson comes Falling Off the Bone
, a collection of recipes for simple, delicious meat dishes just like grandma used to make, but updated for contemporary kitchens and tastes. With beautiful color photographs throughout, this cookbook shows just how mouthwateringly delicious simple home cooking can be.
Falling Off the Bone dishes up quintessential comfort food—recipes that are ideal for virtually any tough cut of beef, pork, lamb, or veal. Anderson shows you how to use slow cooking methods like braising, pot- roasting, and simmering to coax amazing flavors out of the most common and affordable cuts.
• Features sumptuously photographed recipes for such soul-satisfying dishes as Beef Catalan, Ossobuco, Hassle-Free Oven Stew of Lamb with Peppers and Prosciutto, and Glazed Sweet-Sour Spareribs
• Perfect for cooks on a budget, these recipes make the most of affordable cuts of meat
• Written by one of America's most respected food writers and cookbook authors
For anyone who wants to eat like a king on a penny-pincher’s budget, Falling Off the Bone
leads the way. It brims with nourishing comfort foods that are simple, delicious, and more tender than you ever dreamed possible.
Recipe Excerpts from Falling Off the Bone
Striking a recessionary tone, Anderson (New Doubleday Cookbook) explores not just beef, veal, lamb, and pork, but focuses specifically upon their less expensive, "bony and/or sinewy cuts." The handy preface provides tips on tenderization, and there are charts illustrating from where upon each animal the tough cuts are carved. Judging from the 163 recipes, there appear to be three essential solutions for dealing with the likes of chuck, rump, riblets, and pig's feet. One can throw them in a soup, cook them low and slow, or surround them with intense flavors. Jade soup with pork and veal dumpling balls, for example, uses ground shoulder, bread crumbs, and cheese for the dumplings, with a buttermilk soup full of chopped spinach. Carbonnade flamande, a Belgian stew, is one of many dishes designed for the slow cooker. Boneless chuck, onions, garlic, and beer are simmered for four hours, then served with boiled potatoes. There are high heat options such as green chili with pinto beans, or spicy braised pork belly, as well as tepid on the tongue choices such as cold sliced veal with tuna mayonnaise, or good ole corned beef and cabbage.
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