Hoppin' John & Greens with Pea Gravy

Hoppin' John & Greens with Pea Gravy


Serves: 6-8

Prep: 30 mins (not including overnight soak)

Cook: 120 mins

T = Tablespoon

t = teaspoon 


  • 4 slices BRD Thick Cut Bacon; whole
  • 32 oz (4 cups) BRD Chicken Stock*
  • 3-4 pounds (about 2 large bunches) Collard Greens; any hearty winter green will work.
  • 1/2 yellow onion; thinly sliced.
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar or Sherry Vinegar
  • 2 T liquid sweetener of choice; sorghum, honey, maple syrup, agave.
  • 1 t Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 t Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 T Reserved Bacon Fat 


  • 4 oz Buy Ranch Direct Thick Cut Bacon; about 4 pieces
  • 32 oz (4 cups) Buy Ranch Direct Chicken Stock*
  • 32 oz (4 cups) Cold Water
  • 1 cup Dried Black-Eyed Peas, Red Peas or Cowpeas; soaked overnight in water in fridge. Can substitue 2 cans if needed.
  • 1/4 cup reserved bacon fat
  • 1 Vidalia or yellow onion; minced
  • 2 large ribs of celery; minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-1 Jalapeno or Poblano Chile; seeded and minced
  • 1 medium Red Bell Pepper; cored, seeded and minced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 4 Sprigs of Thyme
  • Vinegar-based hot sauce of choice, to taste; (Tabasco and Crystal’s)
  • Large Pinch of Kosher Salt; three fingers and a thumb

Pea Gravy

  • 1 cup Reserved cooked peas
  • 2 cups Reserved pea cooking liquid
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • Apple Cider Vinegar to taste 


  • 1 cup long grain rice; basmati rice works best. 
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 t Cayenne pepper
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 T unsalted butter or reserved bacon fat
  • Pinch of Salt; two fingers and a thumb



  • Thinly sliced scallions, green onions or chives. 



  • Pairing knife
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Large Pot; think pasta pot or stock pot; for greens
  • Medium Dutch Oven or pot; for peas; big enough to hold all the liquid plus 2 inches
  • Medium Pot; for rice
  • Mesh strainer
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • 1 med bowl; for pea gravy
  • 1 Large Bowl
  • Emersion Blender or Regular Blender


As always, read the entire recipe, form a plan and make sure you have what you need before you start.


  • Place larger pot over medium heat and place in bacon strips. The bacon will curl so be sure to press down with a wooden spoon to make sure you get contact on all the surfaces. Cook to golden brown all over but not burnt. If it starts to burn, remove bacon from pot and remove pot from heat. 
  • While bacon is cooking, wash greens well and rip or cut into bite sized strips. Set aside. Do not skip the washing. All of the beautiful greens you find at the farmer’s market (and grocery store) will have a lot to a little residual dirt on them. Gritty greens are terrible.
  • Remove bacon strips and set aside. Pour off all but a T of bacon fat (just enough to cover the bottom of the pot) and reserve the remaining fat.
  • Add the sliced onions and cook until softened and slightly colored. Replace bacon strips.
  • Add vinegar and reduce slightly. About 1 min. 
  • Add all of the stock and bring to a boil.
  • Once the stock is boiling, add the ripped greens and stir well to incorporate and cover. Add water if additional liquid is needed.
  • Add salt, red pepper flakes and sweetener. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook until greens are tender but not soggy. About 2 hours.
  • Once done, stir in reserved T of bacon fat, taste for salt, remove from heat and set aside.


  • Rinse your rice well until the water runs clear then cover with fresh water and let soak for 15-30 mins. Properly rinsing the rice removes excess starch which is what makes cooked rice sticky and clump together, we do not want this.
  • To be continued after you start the peas…


  • If using dried peas (and you should be) place them in a bowl and rinse well, drain, then cover with fresh, cold water. Pick out any odd-looking, broken or shriveled pieces as you find them.
  • Place in fridge and soak overnight.
  • Place stock in the medium dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  • Drain the peas and add to the boiling stock along with all the other ingredients except the salt and hot sauce. Salt reacts to the uncooked peas and will prevent them from becoming soft and tender.
  • Turn heat down to a gentle simmer (small bubbles all over the surface) and partially cover. Probably med-low.
  • Cooked until peas are tender to bite but still whole, about 1 hour.
  • Once cooked, add kosher salt and hot sauce to taste.
  • Drain and reserve all cooking liquid and set aside
  • Reserve 1 cup of peas and 2 cups cooking liquid for Pea Gravy and set aside.
  • Peas can be made in advanced and stored in their liquid for up to 3 days.

Rice cnt’d

  • Add water, cayenne, bay leaf and salt to a medium pot and bring to a boil over med-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Drain rice and add to the pot, bringing to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook uncovered until rice is al dente, about 15 mins. To test, remove a grain of rice and bite in half. You should see a small white dot of uncooked rice in the middle. This is perfect.
  • Preheat oven to 300 ℉ 
  • Drain al dente rice and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.
  • Spread across a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with reserved bacon fat or scatter with unsalted butter.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 5 mins. Remove and stir. Cook for another 5 mins.
  • Remove from oven and stir. Rice should be dry but not hard, without clumping together too much.
  • Gradually add rice to the peas until you get an equal ratio. Just eyeball this.
  • Gradually add reserved pea cooking liquid until you get a moist, but not soupy mixture.
  • Cover and set aside.

Pea Gravy

  • Place reserved peas and cooking liquid in a bowl (for emersion blender) or blender and blend until smooth.
  • Slowly incorporate butter or reserved bacon fat until smooth.
  • Add vinegar to taste and stir.
  • Add liquid if needed to get a thick but pourable sauce.


Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove greens from pot and place in the bottom of a wide shallow bowl or deeply rimmed plate. Place rice and pea mixture on top and drizzle with pea gravy. Top with thinly sliced scallions.

Serve and enjoy. Then start stacking that money.

*Yes, this recipe calls for a lot of stock and yes, you can substitute water but it just won’t have the depth of flavor that makes this dish special. When you need this much stock, being able to make your own is a game changer. It really is the secret. Here is our guide to making all sorts of stocks. Good stock is the secret to good food. I promise.

**Save the cooking liquid from the greens. This is called potlikker and is delicious. Use it as a vegetable stock in all sorts of recipes.

***Don’t skip washing the greens or rinsing the rice. You will be left with a gritty, mushy mess.