My Black-Eyed Peas with Baby Back Ribs recipe is my go-to on New Years Day. The Baby Back Ribs fall off the bone to flavor a delicious broth loaded with tons of healthy veggies and most importantly, Black-Eyed Peas.
Why are Black-Eyed Peas Good Luck?
In the Southern USA, it’s a tradition and considered good luck to eat black-eyed peas on New Years’. One of the legends of the black-eyed peas being a lucky New Years Day meal point to the Civil War and General Sherman’s march across the South. While raiding every home they came across of their food supplies the Union army left only the Black-Eyed Peas and salted pork behind, they considered them animal feed. The people in the South were on the verge of starvation and considered themselves lucky to have any food left to eat.
I make my Black-Eyed Peas with Baby Back Ribs recipe with a lot of veggies and broth rather than the more traditional beans and rice. I’m lucky enough to have good food to eat, so I might as well enjoy it. By browning the ribs in the skillet then boiling them for two hours, they infuse a tremendous amount of pork flavor into the soup. When you pull them out to slice them into ribs, they are falling off the bone tender and have all the flavor of the stock and seasonings in them. These Black-Eyed Peas with Baby Back Ribs may just become your new favorite way to eat ribs.
Do You Have to Use Baby Back Ribs in Black-Eyed Peas?
No, baby back ribs are just one way of doing this recipe and the main reason I like them is because of the bones and fat. Slow simmering bones is a great way to get flavor into a soup, and a rack of ribs (or two) has a lot of bones and adds a ton of flavor to black-eyed peas.
Besides baby back ribs, I like ham hocks, a leftover ham bone, hog jowls (if you can find them) pork-butt, smoked bacon or any other smoky pork that likes a long slow braising is good for this recipe. Pork butt is my next favorite cut of meat for my Black-Eyed Pea recipe, it has lots of nice fat that melts and flavors the soup like magic. And the way pork butt shreds and falls to pieces is heavenly. My brother likes to freeze the ham bone that’s left-over from a spiral cut ham and use it for cooking beans, it’s a really good way to cook and the bone adds a lot of flavors.
This is my Black Eyed Peas with Baby Back Ribs recipe:
Black-Eyed Peas with Baby Back Ribs
- 1 Rack Baby Back Ribs or 2 pounds pork-butt or country ribs
- 2 Quarts Chicken Stock
- 4 Cups Black-Eyed Peas
- 1 Can Tomatoes 14 Ounce
- 1 Can Corn 14 Ounce
- 4 Cups Carrots 1/2-inch dice
- 1 Zucchini 1/2-inch dice
- 1 Yellow Squash 1/2-inch dice
- 1 Yellow Onion Diced
- 3 Cloves Garlic Crushed and chopped
- 8 Ounces Mushrooms Sliced
- 4 Stalks Celery The inside delicate pale stalks + leaves
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Pound Mustard Greens, Collard Greens or Spinach
- 2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Hot Sauce
- Corn Bread
- Hot Sauce
- Remove the skin from the back of the ribs, cut ribs into sections of 3-bones
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, add a few sections of ribs at a time, brown for 5 minutes
- Add chicken stock, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and corn. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, simmer 1 hour
- Heat a skillet to high, add 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, mushrooms, celery, and garlic. Sauté until mushrooms are browned, onions are soft and translucent
- After one hour, add all the ingredients to the large pot, except the greens, return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, simmer 1 hour.
- Add greens, cover, simmer until greens are tender, adjust salt, pepper and hot sauce as needed
- Serve with hot fresh cornbread and hot sauce on the side