Top | The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

Hoppin’ John

(recipe, Matt Lee & Ted Lee)


We use a smoked hog jowl and pork broth in our hoppin’ John, but we've substituted bacon and chicken broth in this recipe; they should work nicely as well.


  1. 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  2. ¼ lb. slab bacon or 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut
  3. 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  4. 6 cups chicken broth
  5. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  6. 1 tsp. crushed red-pepper flakes
  7. 1 tsp. salt
  8. 1 can (14 ounces) crushed Italian tomatoes
  9. 1½ cups long-grain rice


  1. Wash the peas in a strainer, place them in a medium bowl, and soak for 4 hours in fresh water to cover.
  2. Cook the bacon in a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat, rendering the fat in the pot for 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, scoop the bacon out onto a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, freshly ground black pepper, red-pepper flakes, and salt, and bring to a boil.
  3. Let the broth boil vigorously for 10 minutes, then add the drained peas. Boil gently over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the peas are tender but still have some bite, about 25 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the rice to the pot, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer vigorously for 20 minutes, until most of the broth has been absorbed but the rice and peas are still very moist.
  4. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the hoppin’ John to steam, covered, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  5. Fluff the black-eyed peas and rice with a fork. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle the cooked bacon over the top, and serve.