Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year Ham with Black Eyed Peas and Braised Cabbage and Onion

Yesterday on this blog I featured pork and mentioned how there are many cultures around the world in which eating pork at New Year is considered to be a bringer of good luck. I thought that I would continue this theme today and expand on it slightly. I am therefore featuring boiled ham (as it is any type of meat from a pig which is considered lucky,) as well as black eyed peas which are also considered lucky to eat at New Year and cabbage, which is believed by many to bring riches in the coming year. I hope very much that if you are one of the millions of people who see a dish incorporating cabbage and immediately think, "I hate cabbage!" you will at least consider the way in which I have prepared it here before dismissing this offering altogether...

This recipe is for four people.


2lb piece of boneless, boiling ham
1/2 white cabbage
1 medium white onion
1 clove of garlic
14oz can of black eyed peas in water
6 whole cloves
6 black peppercorns
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper


The ham has to be cooked completely before anything else is started. Wash the piece of ham and place it in to a large pot. Stick the whole cloves in to the ham, crack the black peppers in a pestle and mortar and add them also. Note that the ham should not be salted, as it will have been cured with salt. Pour in enough cold water to completely cover the ham and put on to a high heat until the water starts to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one and a half hours, topping up the water as required.

When the ham is cooked, it should be removed from the water with a carving fork and a large slotted spoon and transferred to a small bowl to rest. It is better to use a bowl than a plate, as this will catch the escaping juices. Cover the bowl while the cabbage and onion and the black eyed peas are prepared.

The cabbage should be quartered, the core cut out and each quarter sliced. The onion should be peeled, halved and also sliced. The garlic clove should be peeled and finely chopped. The olive oil should be put in to a large pot, brought up to a medium heat and the cabbage, onion and garlic all added. Season with salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat, stirring frequently for seven or eight minutes.

The black eyed peas should be poured in to a pot and heated for three or four minutes. Take care not to let the liquid boil. They should then be drained through a colander and are ready to serve.

The ham should be carved while the peas are heating and the cabbage and onion finishes braising. This delicious, lucky New Year meal may then be plated and served.

Tomorrow on this Blog

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve - Hogmanay here in Scotland - and I will be featuring my final recipe of 2010. I will also, however, be looking at New Year Resolutions, specifically in relation to food, and I hope very much that you will stop by to take a look.

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