Lady Peas Cooked in Pork Stock

Southern Kitchen

Serves: 6 to 8

Hands On Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes


Smoked Pork Stock

2 pounds cured and smoked pork shoulder, sliced or whole

1 gallon water

Lady Peas

4 cups shelled lady peas

2 1/2 cups Smoked Pork Stock (above), or substitute vegetable or chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To make the pork stock: Rinse the pork shoulder and combine it with the water in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Cook, covered, at a full simmer, until the stock develops a strong smoked-pork flavor, about 2 hours.

Strain and discard the pork shoulder (it will have rendered all of its flavor). Cool the stock completely, then refrigerate until needed.

To make the lady peas: Carefully wash and pick over the shelled lady peas. Discard any that are damaged or buggy. Put the peas in a pot and cover with the smoked pork stock. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. At this point the lady peas, like all field peas, will begin to throw off a significant amount of foam. Use a slotted spoon to remove the foam, and discard.

When the liquid stops foaming, reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, until the peas are quite tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Taste carefully for seasoning, and adjust as needed with salt and pepper. Serve hot with some of the cooking liquid to moisten.


Per serving (based on 6): 146 calories (percent of calories from fat, 12), 8 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 2 grams fat (trace saturated), 1 milligram cholesterol, 107 milligrams sodium.

Smoked Pork Stock, per 1/2-cup serving: 69 calories (percent of calories from fat, 66), 6 grams protein, no carbohydrates, no fiber, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 18 milligrams sodium.

About the recipe

Smoked pork stock is the traditional and best cooking medium for field peas, greens and other vegetables, but if you don’t have time (or the right pork) to make a finished stock, use vegetable or chicken stock. You can also make a quick stock by boiling a small slice (about 2 ounces) of smoked, cured pork in 6 cups of water for 1/2 hour, tightly covered. Remove the meat, and season with salt and pepper. — Chef Scott Peacock

The pork stock may be kept refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for 6 months. (Once the stock is chilled, any fat that is congealed on the surface may be removed and reserved for other uses.)

Adapted from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock (Knopf, $29.95)