Smoked Black Eyed Pea Stew Recipe with Bacon and Sausage

| | | |

Sharing is caring!

Is making the Black Eyed Pea Stew recipe also your New Year Tradition for you? It has been on my menu for a few years now 🙂 I don’t want to be taking any chances with my luck!

Beside securing the Luck in the New Year, this stew is very delicious. 

black eye-pea stew in a cooking pan

Even if this is not your tradition, the ease of making this Black Eyed Pea Stew will make you start one. You can cook everything in one pot, it is that easy. No fuss, no pile of dirty dishes. I know you like that idea. 

Why you will love this Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew 

  • Hearty – bacon, sausage, roasted tomatoes and black-eyed peas create rich and very satisfying flavors.
  • Nutrient rich – Collard greens add vitamins; peas are packed with protein, fiber and minerals.
  • Versatile – Perfect for a cozy night or meal prep. This stew adapts to any occasion.
  • Leftovers – are the best; transform them into a soup, hearty breakfast (add an egg), or freeze for later
black-eyed pea stew in a cooking pan, close up

Did you know?

Black-eyed peas (cowpeas) are not peas, but beans!

They are small, creamy with a distinctive black spot, or “eye,” on their light-colored surface. They offer mild, slightly nutty taste and a creamy texture.

Very versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes.

The peas hold their shape well during cooking, making them ideal for stews and soups. 

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is considered good luck in many cultures, especially in the Southern United States, where it’s believed to bring prosperity and good fortune for the coming year.

black-eyed peas close up

Tips for cooking Black-Eyed Peas: 

1. Soaking: black-eyed peas before cooking helps reduce their cooking time. It also can make them easier to digest. There are two most common methods:

  • Overnight Soak: Cover the peas with water and let them soak overnight.
  • Quick Soak: Bring the peas to a boil, let them sit for 1-2 hours, then drain.

2. Sorting: Before soaking, sort through the dried black-eyed peas. Remove any debris or damaged peas. Finish by rinsing them under cold water.

3. Seasoning the Soak: by adding bay leaves, garlic, or a pinch of salt. This infuses the peas with additional taste.

4. Cooking Methods:

  • Stovetop: Simmer soaked peas in a pot of water or broth until tender. It usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Pressure Cooker: Cook soaked peas in a pressure cooker for a faster cooking time.
  • Slow Cooker: Set soaked peas in a slow cooker with broth and let them cook slowly for several hours.

5. Seasoning: Flavor the cooking liquid with aromatics like onions, garlic, bay leaves, or herbs. This enhances the taste of the black-eyed peas.

6. Test for Doneness: Taste a few peas to check for doneness. They should be tender but not mushy. If they’re too firm, continue cooking and check frequently. .

7. Draining and Storing: Once cooked, drain the black-eyed peas. Let them cool to room temperature. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze.

ingredients to make black-eyed pea stew

Ingredients, Variations and Substitutions you need to make Black-eyed pea stew:

Thick cut bacon – savory essence of the stew; look for bacon with a good fat to meat ratio; Before you start cutting, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes. Optionally you can use turkey bacon.

Smoked sausage – use any kind you like; cut into bite size pieces. Pick a spicy kind for an extra flavor kick. You can also use shredded chicken or turkey.

Black-eyed peas

  • if using dry peas do a quick soak in hot water to soften them. This will ensure they cook to perfection without becoming mushy.
  • You can use canned peas, remember to adjust cooking time.
  • If you are using frozen peas, remember:
    • thaw them overnight in the refrigerator;
    • skip the soaking step;
    • adjust cooking time; they will be tender in less time
  • Peas substitutions you may consider: navy beans, cannellini beans, or even chickpeas. The flavor of the stew may be different.

Onion – Use yellow or sweet onions for a milder taste. The size of the dice can also impact the texture of the stew. Great substitutes: shallots or leeks

Garlic – Freshly minced garlic provides the best flavor. Adjust the quantity based on your preference for garlic intensity. 

Collard greens – nutrient pack, delicious and add vibrant color to this stew; you can use spinach, kale, mustard greens or swiss chard. 

TOP TIP: for cooking collard greens:

  • Before chopping wash the leaves carefully to remove any dirt
  • To enhance their flavor and tenderness, it is recommended to remove the tough stems before cooking and give the leaves a good wash.
  • Slicing or chopping them into manageable pieces ensures even cooking. 
  • Add collard greens towards the end to prevents overcooking.

Broth – of your choice, chicken, beef or vegetable, store bought or homemade; you can also use water.

Mushroom water (optional) – totally optional, adds delicious umami flavor to the stew; skip if not available or use vegetable stew.

Tomato paste – deepens the tomato flavor of the stew, so use according to your preference; optionally you can use ketchup, tomato sauce.

Fire roasted tomatoes – they add slightly charred flavor intensifying the depth of the stew; you can use regular canned diced tomatoes or fresh tomatoes roasted in the oven. Add a pinch of smoked paprika for a hint of smokiness.

Bay leaves – they add a subtle herbal note to the stew, enhancing the aromatic complexity. Whenever possible use fresh leaves. Remove before serving the stew. Optionally you can use 1 tsp of dried thyme or oregano.

Chipotle in adobo sauce – adding kick of heat to the stew, adjust to your liking or skip

Salt and pepper – taste and adjust to your preference

black-eyed pea stew, close up

Common mistakes in Stew Making:

  • Rushing the Simmer – Patience is key. Allow the stew to simmer slowly for the flavors to meld.
  • Overlooking Seasoning – Taste as you go. Adjust seasonings gradually to avoid over-salting.
  • Hold the greens – Adding collard greens too early can lead to overcooking. Time them perfectly for vibrant color and flavor.
  • Not searing the meat – it is a must! It develops texture and flavor.

Equipment you will need

  • Wood Pellet Smoker, oven, slow cooker, stove top
  • Large heavy bottom cooking pan; Dutch oven
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Mixing spoon
  • Cutting board  
  • Chef’s knife

Step by step instructions for the smoker:

  • Prepare the black-eyed peas. Rinse and sort. Soak overnight or do quick soak in hot water.
  • Cut the bacon and sausage into bite size pieces.
  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Wash and cut the collard greens. Remove stems – optionally.
  • Preheat the cooking pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon and sausage until nicely browned.
  • Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Add tomato paste, chipotles, thyme, salt-pepper and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer the peas into the pot, add broth, tomatoes and optionally mushroom water. Leave the collard greens out.
  • Set on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Stir well to combine. 
  • Preheat your smoker to 250F; cook the stew for about 2 hours.
  • I recommend Hickory or mesquite wood pellets; they will infuse the stew with a robust but not overwhelming smokiness
  • The stew is done when the peas are tender but not mushy. Add the collard greens and simmer for 15 more minutes

TOP TIP: stew consistency

  • if the stew is too thick – add more water or broth; start with 1 cup at the time
  • if the stew is too thin – remove one cup of the peas; mash them with a fork or in a food processor; add them back to the stew and cook longer

Oven Instructions:

  • Follow the initial steps until preheating the smoker
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Cook stew covered for 2 hours
  • Uncover it, stir in the collard greens for the final 15 minutes of the cooking.

Slow Cooker Instructions:

  • Follow the initial steps until preheating the smoker. 
  • Transfer to Slow Cooker 
  • Cover the slow cooker and set it to cook on low heat. Simmer for about 6-8 hours or until the peas are tender.
  • Add Collard Greens: 15-20 minutes before serving, stir in the collard greens. Cover and let them cook until they are tender but still vibrant.
  • Remove the bay leaves, Serve and Enjoy

Leftover Stew Ideas:

  • Stuffed Peppers or zucchini boats – Fill the veggies with reheated stew for a quick, hearty meal.
  • Pasta Sauce: Serve over pasta
  • Enjoy for breakfast with sunny side up egg
  • Make stuffed cabbage rolls using this stew

Pairing with Black-Eyed Peas:

  • Cornbread: A classic pairing, the sweetness complements the savory stew.
  • Greens and Okra: Embrace Southern tradition with a side of collard greens and okra.
  • Serve it with rice

You may also like:

Storage and Reheating:

  • Refrigeration:
    • transfer to an airtight container once it has cooled to room temperature. Refrigerate promptly to prevent bacterial growth.
    • Use within 3-4 days for optimal freshness.
  • Freezing:
    • Portion the stew into freezer-safe containers.
    • use within 2-3 months for the best quality and taste.  
  • Thawing Frozen Stew: Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. Thawing gradually in the refrigerator minimizes the risk of bacteria growth.  
  • Reheating:
    • Stovetop: Place the stew in a saucepan and reheat over low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even warming. 
    • Microwave: always use microwave -safe container; reheat in short intervals, stirring in between to distribute the heat
black-eyed pea stew, close up

black-eyed pea stew in a pan

Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew with Bacon and Sausage

Making this stew for New Years is like securing your Luck! Don't skip it. Hearty, delicious, great to feed a crowd and enjoy the leftovers.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 500 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 wood pellet smoker oven, slow cooker, instant pot
  • 1 heavy bottom pan dutch oven
  • 1 measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 cutting board
  • 1 chef's knife
  • 1 mixing spoon

Ingredients
  

  • 10 slices thick cut bacon cut into bite size pieces
  • 8 oz smoked sausage cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 -3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 lb black-eyed peas soaked and drained
  • 2-3 cup collard greens cut into ribbons
  • 6 cups broth of your choice
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • ½ cup mushroom water optional
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-2 tbsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper adjust to your liking

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the black-eyed peas. Rinse and sort. Soak overnight or do quick soak in hot water for 1 hour.
  • Cut the bacon and sausage into bite size pieces.
  • Dice the onion and mince the garlic.
  • Wash and cut the collard greens. Remove stems – optionally.
  • Preheat the cooking pan over medium heat. Cook the bacon and sausage until nicely browned.
  • Add onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  • Add tomato paste, chipotles, thyme, salt-pepper and bay leaves. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer the peas into the pot, add broth, tomatoes and optionally mushroom water. Leave the collard greens out.
  • Set on medium high heat and bring to a boil. Stir well to combine.
  • Preheat your smoker to 325F; cook the stew for about 2 hours. I recommend Hickory or mesquite wood pellets; they will infuse the stew with a robust but not overwhelming smokiness
  • The stew is done when the peas are tender but not mushy. Add the collard greens and simmer for 15 more minutes

Notes

Sear the meat – this will elevate the flavor of the stew
Soak the peas – add flavor to the soaking water by including bay leaves, garlic, pinch of salt or herbs
Hold the Greens – add the collard greens towards the end of cooking. This will preserve their vibrant color and crunchy texture
Experiment with the meat – use shredded chicken, chorizo, left over turkey

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupCalories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 22gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 2131mgPotassium: 619mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1008IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 98mgIron: 4mg
Keyword bacon, black-eyed peas, sausage, stew, tomato
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Did you make this recipe?

black-eyed pea stew in a pot

Conclusion

So, is making this Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew going to be your new tradition? I don’t blame you. It is easy to make, very hearty and delicious. It also gives us great opportunity to explore different flavor pairings. Change up the meats, or skip them all together to make it a vegetarian stew. You can also skip the tomatoes to make it more of the traditional southern style Black-Eyed Pea Stew.

FAQ about Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew

What is the difference between black-eyed pea soup and this delicious stew?

Black-eyed pea soup typically refers to a thinner, more broth-based dish, while this delicious stew features a heartier consistency with the inclusion of more black-eyed peas and a variety of flavorful ingredients like beef broth, extra virgin olive oil, and bay leaf.

Can I add red pepper flakes or hot sauce to this stew for some extra heat?

Absolutely! If you enjoy a spicier kick, feel free to add red pepper flakes or your favorite hot sauce to the stew, adjusting the amount to your desired level of heat.

Can I use fresh peas in place of dried black-eyed peas for this recipe?

While fresh peas can be a tasty addition to many dishes, this particular stew is traditionally made with dried black-eyed peas. However, you can experiment with using fresh peas if you prefer a different texture and flavor.

Is chicken broth a suitable substitute for beef broth in this stew?

Yes, you can use chicken broth as a substitute for beef broth if you prefer a milder flavor or if that’s what you have on hand. It will still contribute to the overall richness of the stew.

Can you suggest any variations or ingredients to enhance the flavor of this Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew?

To elevate the flavor of this delicious stew, you can consider experimenting with ingredients like smoked paprika, fresh herbs, or even a splash of wine or vinegar to add depth and complexity to the dish.

How can I incorporate extra virgin olive oil into this recipe for added richness?

While this stew doesn’t typically call for extra virgin olive oil, you can drizzle a small amount over the stew just before serving to enhance its flavor and add a touch of richness.

Are bay leaves essential for the flavor of this Smoked Black-Eyed Pea Stew?

Bay leaves are a classic seasoning that adds a subtle herbal note to the stew, enhancing its aromatic complexity. While they are recommended for the best flavor, you can omit them if necessary.

Check out the latest posts from My Omni Kitchen

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments