Hoppin' John with sweet capsicums

    9 hours 45 minutes

    This classic dish from the American South has a base of rice and beans, jazzed up with bacon, sweet capsicums and Tabasco.

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    Serves: 4 

    • scant ⅔ cup dried black-eyed peas
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 3 bacon rashers, rind removed, chopped
    • 1 onion, finely chopped
    • 2 mixed capsicums (red, yellow, green or orange), seeded and diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
    • heaped ⅓ cup long-grain white rice
    • 1 cup vegetable stock, hot
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons Tabasco

    Preparation:8hours15min  ›  Cook:1hour30min  ›  Ready in:9hours45min 

    1. Soak the dried peas in water for 6–8 hours or overnight if time permits. Drain and rinse well, then put in a saucepan with plenty of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a very low simmer and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until tender – the cooking time will depend on the age of the black-eyed peas.
    2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish or large saucepan over a moderate heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes, or until crisp. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened. Add the capsicums and garlic and cook for 4–5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the capsicums are just tender.
    3. Stir in the black-eyed beans and rice, then pour in the stock. Bring back to the boil and season with salt and pepper, then reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
    4. Sprinkle the vinegar and Tabasco over the mixture, toss well, then serve.

    cook's tips

    • Not all supermarkets stock black-eyed peas, so you may need to try your local health-food store. They are also known as black-eyed beans and cowpeas. * • This dish would be good served with sausages, burgers or grilled meats.

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