Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Black-Eyed Peas and Hog Jowl - New Year's Day Tradition

In the South, at least where I come from, you eat black-eyed peas and hog jowl on New Year’s Day to bring good luck for the upcoming year. Some regions are slightly different like Hoppin’ Johns, a black-eye pea and rice dish, or black-eyed peas and collard greens. But for me, we had black-eyed peas and hog jowl every January 1st. I like black-eyed peas, though I prefer purple hull peas. Hog jowl is from the jaw/jowl/check of a hog and is like fatty bacon (if that is at all possible). It can be a little difficult to find. I went into a grocery in one of the more affluent areas of St. Louis and after looking in the meat section and not finding it asked the butcher who gave me a little smirk and said “No, you will not find that in this store.” All I can say to you citizens of Frontenac is that 2009 will not be kind to you. Lucky for me, I did finally find some hog jowl and 2009 is going to be a good year.

This is not culinary masterpiece. Having it once a year will be fine for most. But, it’s tradition, fun to do, and it's for good luck. It can't hurt. I served mine with some picked onions I made a year or so back.

1 small slab of Hog Jowl
1 15 ounce can Black-Eyed Peas
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Cut the hog jowl into thin bacon like strips. In a large skillet, fry hog jowl over medium low to medium heat until desired doneness and crispness. Place hog jowl on a platter lined with paper towel to drain. During this time, heat black eyes peas in a sauce pan over medium heat until hot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves good luck for 365 days

I find hog howl in a whole piece. But, I have read on other blogs where they have found it pre-sliced. I have never found it that way. If you slightly freeze your hog jowl, it will make slicing it a little easier – about 20 minutes in your freezer. You will get a good amount of fat renderings from the hog jowl and if you fry it too hot a lot of smoke.


Charlotte said...
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Charlotte said...

Hi! I'm writing about blackeyed peas on New Year's Day, too. Visit me at

Anonymous said...

I was just wondering where in St. Louis you did find the hog jowl?