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Baked Blackeye Peas

I love blackeye peas, which have a much more assertive taste than most beans. I really think that you have to cook them differently from the way you cook red beans. This method heads off in the direction of barbecue beans, without the sauce. It helps to boil the beans the night before, then bake them all morning long. This is actually my wife’s recipe, and we serve it at most of the casual barbecues we are called upon to do.

  • 1 lb. dried blackeye peas
  • 2/3 cup Steen’s cane syrup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 Tbs. Pickapeppa or Tabasco New Orleans steak sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp. summer savory
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. Creole mustard
  • 1/2 pound lean bacon, cut into squares

1. Sort through the beans to remove bad ones and dirt, then rinse well. Put them into a pot with enough water to cover them about four inches deep, and bring to a light boil. Boil for one hour.

2. Drain the beans well and put them into a baking dish with all the other ingredients. Mix well.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bring two cups of water to a boil. Top the beans with just enough boiling water to just barely cover them.

4. Put the baking dish into the preheated oven and bake for three hours. Check it every hour, stirring and adding a little more water if the beans seems to be getting dry.

Makes eight to twelve side portions.

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