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Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice

Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice | Homesick Texan

The other day, I took dinner to my family at our Chambersville farm. My mom was in town helping my uncle with some family business, and since I knew that they, along with my grandma, had probably had a busy day, I figured a home-cooked meal would be welcome.

This year, for the first time in many, we had a crop of black-eyed peas. It’s always been said that the black dirt in our little patch of Texas produces the best peas, and I agree. It’s been too long and I’d forgotten how fresh and vibrant they can taste, even when they’re dried and a few months old.

My uncle had given me a pound for Christmas, and that day I had cooked a pot in anticipation of sharing a new recipe on the blog. When I decided to cook dinner for everyone, I worked with the black-eyed peas I’d already prepared and came up with an entire meal.

Over the past month, I’d been testing ham recipes, so I took some slices of that along with flour tortillas and shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar to make ham and cheese quesadillas. I also cooked some Spanish rice to go with the peas. Lastly, I made a pico de gallo with avocado, as I only had one, which wasn’t enough for guacamole but was a creamy accent to the fresh salsa.

Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice | Homesick Texan

These days, Grandma has an edict that she no longer prefers onions or hot peppers in her food, so while I’d already thrown a jalapeño into the peas, I only used a sweet red bell pepper in the pico. There were no hot peppers in the rice, either.


The meal was homespun and easy, and while I’d been working with ingredients I needed to use from my fridge, everyone agreed it tasted good and fresh. I was pleased to have been able to cook for them.

As we cleared off the table to make room for the peach cobbler I’d also baked, Grandma suggested we take the leftover rice and mix it with the black-eyed peas, as the latter had quite a bit of flavorful broth remaining. She thought the two together would make a fine dish.

Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice | Homesick Texan

I agree, and now I share that combination with you—slowly cooked black-eyed peas with lots of garlic, bacon, and spices, along with some tomato-and-garlic Spanish rice. Rice and beans are a classic combination, and this North Texas take on the two together is a wonderful way to feed your family and welcome in a new year.

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Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice | Homesick Texan
5 from 3 votes
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Chambersville black-eyed peas and rice

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Servings 4
Author Lisa Fain

Ingredients

For the black-eyed peas:

  • 8 ounces uncooked bacon
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • Pickled jalapeños, for serving

For the rice:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Instructions

  1. For the black-eyed peas, in a large pot, cook the bacon on medium heat until crisp, turning once. Remove the bacon from the pot, leaving in the grease.
  2. Add the jalapeños to the pot, and while stirring occasionally, cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  3. Add to the pot the black-eyed peas, salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, bay leaf, and water. Cut the cooked bacon into pieces and add it to the pot, too. Bring the pot to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. Simmer the peas covered for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. After 1 ½ hours, remove the lid and test the peas to see where they’re at in terms of tenderness. Continue to cook the peas uncovered until they’re your desired texture, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the peas.

  5. Once the peas are tender, taste and add more salt and adjust seasonings if desired. Serve warm with pickled jalapeños on the side.
  6. Meanwhile, for the rice, in a heavy-bottom pan, heat the olive oil on medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the cumin, oregano, salt, and tomato paste until well combined. Add the rice and stir until well blended with the tomato paste and spices.
  7. Pour in the water, turn the heat up to high, and cook uncovered until boiling. When it boils, cover the pot, turn the heat down to low, then simmer for 20 minutes. After this time, turn off the heat and leave on the lid for 10 more minutes.
  8. Remove the lid, fluff the rice, then stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings if you like. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with the black-eyed peas.

Recipe Notes

This will serve 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side. The recipe calls for only 1 cup instead of the usual 2 cups since you're combining the peas with rice. That said, feel free to double it if you prefer more peas! 

  1. Susan Sunde

    This looks like a great recipe for welcoming the New Year. But I’m confused … only 1 cup of dried peas? That doesn’t seem like enough to serve a family. When I cook other beans, i.e., pintos, I cook at least a pound.

    • Lisa Fain

      Because the peas are combined with rice, they go further and the combination can serve 4 as a main dish or 8 as a side. That said, you can easily double the amount of peas! I also usually use a pound, too. Thank you for the question! I’ll add a note to the recipe since others may have the same concerns.

  2. Chris Hermansen

    Not being from Texas nevertheless I have to send you a big thank you for this regional / local / family thinking on a recipe that will make me very happy when I cook it!

  3. Made the peas and the rice –big hit with my family – delish

  4. 5 stars
    The peas were lovely. I subbed 1 can of original Rotel for the jalapeno, cayenne, and 1 cup of water. I also added a heaping half a cup of finely diced onion which I sauteed with the garlic in the bacon grease that otherwise would have softened the jalapeno. The rice recipe was perfect as written. Sorry, but I’ve been doing black eyed peas for decades, and just couldn’t give up the onion–or Ro-Tel. Your version has a couple of improvements over my usual–like bacon and the fresh chili powder.

    The recipe size was perfect for a small family–2 of us–and with the rice, I had leftovers. Today, those were piled into a small casserole dish with lots of cheese on top for a fast and delicious next day lunch.

    • Lisa Fain

      Janet–Glad it was perfect for y’all with your adjustments, and I love the way you served it as leftovers. I’ve never baked cheese on my leftover peas but I will be trying that!

  5. Martha Anderson

    This sounds wonderful, and my guys will love it! Since I’m in New Jersey, I’m wondering if you can recommend a brand of dried peas. Maybe Goya? There’s lots of dirt in my house, but probably not enough to grow a crop. 😂💖

    • Lisa Fain

      Martha–Goya works, as does Camellia. Whole Foods usually has them, too. When I lived in NYC, I’d sometimes see a brand sometimes called Jack Rabbit so perhaps they’re also in NJ.

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