Hoppin’ John

Hoppin’ John

Deep South
Andy Sewell

I take care to work with a handful of artisans back in the States who have taken up a new and worthy Southern cause. One of these is Glenn Roberts, who owns Anson Mills – a revivalist mill out of Columbia, South Carolina, that puts flavour first. Glenn and his cohorts are in large part responsible for the reintroduction of many seeds that were almost extinct but now flourish in kitchens across the United States.

Hoppin’ John uses one of those nearly lost ingredients, Carolina Gold rice, along with purple hull peas, to create the perfect marriage in this humble Southern dish. New Year’s Day isn’t complete without a bowl of Hoppin’ John, which superstition says brings good luck and prosperity in the coming year.


Quantity Ingredient
2 litres ham stock
2 bay leaves
250g purple hull peas or black-eyed beans, soaked in cold water overnight and then drained
150g carolina gold rice
50g unsalted butter
50g bacon fat or lard
100g Rusty’s country ham, trimmings
or serrano ham, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 small red pepper, finely diced
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 jalapeno chilli pepper, finely diced
1 lemon, juiced
see method for ingredients
or tabasco sauce
sea salt
black pepper


  1. Put the stock and bay leaves into a pan, bring to the boil and add the peas. Simmer until tender, then strain, reserving the cooking liquid. Chill the peas. Bring the cooking liquid back to the boil, add the rice and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the rice and chill.
  2. Melt the butter and lard in a frying pan, add the ham, onion, garlic, celery and red pepper and cook gently until tender but not coloured. Stir in the chilli flakes and jalapeño and cook for 2 minutes. Combine this mixture with the peas and rice. Season to taste with the lemon juice, hot pepper vinegar and salt and pepper.
Southern cooking
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