3cupsfresh shelled field peaswith or without snaps
1lbsmoked ham hockcan substitute 1/4 lb salt pork or leftover ham
1tablespoonbacon greasecan substitute olive oil
1/4teaspoonground black pepper
Optionalfresh parsley chopped for garnish
Add bacon grease or olive oil to a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the pan is hot, add the onion and saute for about six minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Watch the garlic carefully to make sure it doesn't burn.
Add the ham hock, the peas, water, kosher salt, and pepper. Add more water, if necessary, to cover the peas by at least an inch and turn the heat up until the liquid comes to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. At about 15 minutes, taste a few to check for seasoning and to see if they are done.
If not, continue cooking for a few more minutes. The fresher the peas are, and the smaller they are, the less time they will need to cook.
Garnish with fresh parsley if desired and serve immediately!
If you don't want to use pork, you can substitute a package of dry, ham-flavored concentrate made by Goya. You can often find it in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. Leftovers should be stored covered in the refrigerator for up to four days. They are delicious added to salads and can be used to make my famous Redneck Caviar Dip. They can be heated up in the microwave or a saucepan on the stove.Fresh is always the best. But, if that isn't an option, you can sometimes find them frozen. They also might be in a vacuum-sealed container in the refrigerated veggie section of your grocery store.