I’ve written before about the custom of serving black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day. One does this to ensure health, happiness, and prosperity in the year ahead. Some people may call this ‘superstition’. I prefer ‘tradition’. You say tomato. I say tomahto….. When New Year’s Day arrives black-eyed peas have to be on the table lest my grandmother climb from her grave to haunt me.
This year my friends at Epicurious (love that app!) sent a suggested recipe. This was nice of them. I don’t know many ways to prepare black-eyed peas and have long since exhausted the known variations. Epicurious proposed combining them with pork tenderloin. The dish included combinations of ingredients I would never have imagined using. Coffee? Pickle purée? What is life without adventure!
- Redeye glaze:
- 2 ounces country ham scraps or prosciutto
- 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil (optional)
- 3 tablespoons shallots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
- 2 cups pork stock or low-salt chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons sorghum syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- Black-eyed peas with spiced butter:
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup minced yellow onion
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 8 cups low-salt chicken broth
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas, soaked overnight, drained
- 5 bay leaves, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon each crushed toasted coriander and fennel seeds
- 1 1×3″ strip lemon peel, all white pith removed
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Tenderloin and assembly:
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon (packed) light brown sugar
- 2 1 1/4-pound trimmed pork tenderloins
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup bread-and-butter pickles, blended to a coarse purée
- For redeye glaze:
- Heat a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add ham and sauté until golden brown, adding vegetable oil as needed if the ham scraps are lean. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in coffee, scraping up any browned bits.
- Add stock, sorghum syrup, and vinegar; bring to a simmer and cook until sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Strain into a small bowl. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Let cool completely; cover and chill. Rewarm before using.
- For black-eyed peas with spiced butter:
- Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add broth, peas, and 3 bay leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, skimming the surface occasionally, until peas are tender, about 1 1/4 hours. Discard bay leaves.
- Strain peas, reserving broth. Transfer 2 cups strained peas to a medium bowl; mash into a paste. Return whole and mashed peas to pot, along with some of the broth to thin mixture. Season with salt. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead.
- Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in small pan over medium heat. Simmer until browned bits form on bottom of pan, 5-6 minutes. Stir in coriander, fennel, lemon peel, cayenne, and remaining 2 bay leaves; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm and discard bay leaves and lemon peel from spice butter before serving.
- For tenderloin and assembly:
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Season pork with spice mixture; let stand for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sear pork on all sides until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast pork, occasionally brushing with glaze, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into meat registers 140°F, about 15 minutes. Transfer meat to a carving board. Let rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
- Reheat peas and spice butter. Cut pork into 1/4″-1/2″-thick slices. Transfer to plates and spoon pickle purée over. Serve with peas drizzled with spoonfuls of spice butter.
I was pleased with the fruits of my labors. Should I make this dish again next year, however, I will pay more attention to the admonitions “DO AHEAD”. I’m not the stereotypical “a man, a can, and a pan” cook but doing this all at the same time took more time than I like to spend on a meal, even for good luck.
this looks YUMMY!!!!! Thank you for the recipe. May you be showered with good luck in 2016.
And to you both as well!
slow-cooked pork roast and sauerkraut and applesauce and crescent rolls and wine at our house for dinner yesterday (spouse is german), followed by plum pudding and brandy sauce for dessert (I am british). we have done it this way for 24 years now; no one has come back to haunt us.
Sauerkraut is something I haven’t had in ages. There’s an idea for a future meal.
Huh. Did the coffee make a big difference?
It did, and I loathe the taste of coffee. But, while the taste was very distinct at the beginning, it became more subtle as it simmered down.
I’m with you about the superst– tradition. We had Black-eyed Pea soup with Kale on New Years.
I can vouch this was a tasty dish I would have again. Indeed, I am having it a few times, as leftovers.
This sounds great but also time-consuming. The secret, apparently, is to have Someone else prepare it.
It was certainly more time-consuming for one of us than for the other. 🙂
I have fish – usually smoked salmon and caviar on New Years Eve, and pork, usually ham on New Years day. Black-eyed-peas – a very southern tradition.
Smoked salmon and caviar…yum!