Hoppin’ John

This is a very comforting dish, probably from the Caribbean where they have a passion for blackeyed peas. Eat it on its own or as an accompaniment to any meat you might fancy.


  • 225g/8oz blackeyed beans
  • 225g/8oz salt bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 4 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bayleaf
  • pinch of thyme
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150g/6oz long grain rice


Soak the blackeyed beans overnight in cold water. Strain the beans, put in a saucepan and cover with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Fry the bacon and set aside. Fry the onion and garlic until soft, not brown, in the residual bacon fat then add the tomatoes, fry lightly for 1 minute. Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, bacon, bayleaf, thyme, cayenne and black pepper to the cooked blackeyed beans and taste for salt. Cook for a further 20 minutes, the water should have evaporated by this time. In the meantime, cook the rice and add to the black-eyed bean mixture. Transfer to a serving dish.