This dish comes from an old chuck wagon recipe, from back when cowboys punched cows and worked ranches. This particular recipe comes from the Perini Ranch in Buffalo Gap, TX. Like anything old and from a cowboy its simple, it uses simple ingredients, is easy to prepare and I think you'll enjoy.
Traditionally, black-eyed peas are considered good luck and I think that's because during General Sherman's March to the sea, the black-eyed peas were left alone because the Yankees thought they were animal feed. They're often served on New Year's Day to bring luck for the year. We use the snaps (the young pods) to add both a little color and texture. And black-eyed peas are just wonderful with fish; I particularly like to serve them with our fried catfish.
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
- 1/4 pound salt pork
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 pounds fresh, shelled black-eyed peas
- OR 4 8-ounce packages of frozen black-eyed peas
- 1 pound fresh okra
- OR 1 8-ounce package frozen okra
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 1 Dutch Oven
- A cast Iron skillet or pan will do fine.
- ACTUAL CHUCK WAGON (OPTIONAL)
Step 2: Prepare
- Slice the pork into 1/4 inch thick slices, then cut slices into 1/4 inch strips. In a dutch oven, cook the salt pork strips slowly in 1/4 cup of water, until the water evaporates and the salt pork is crisp and slightly browned. Remove the pork strips from the pan. There will be a salty residue and a small amount of pork drippings left in the pan.
- Add the chopped onion and saute until soft.
- Add the black-eyed peas and enough water to barley cover the peas.
- Cut the okra into 1/2-inch rounds, discarding the stems, and add to the peas.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until very tender and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Step 3: Enjoy
Serves 6-8 cowboys!
Don't forget if you are ever in Buffalo Gap, TX stop in and say hi to the folks at the Perini Ranch...You'll be glad to did!