Sea Island Red Peas

Here's my recipe for the tiny red beans from South Carolina called Sea Island Red Peas.

[Any dry small peas/beans will work: black eyed peas, Zipper peas, Crowder peas, 'small red beans', etc.. But the Sea Island peas are best, partly because they're so small - like the size of lentils; it doesn't feel like you're eating a bunch of boring beans.

  • 1 or 2 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup each of celery, onion and carrot, finely diced.
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 1/2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup Sea Island Red Peas
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry oregano
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Salt and cayenne to taste

In a decent sized saucepan, cook the bacon till crisp, remove, set aside, leave the bacon fat!

Cook celery, onion, and carrot in bacon fat until soft.

Add tomato paste and garlic, stir cook for 1 min.

Add everything else.

Bring to a simmer. Cover, simmer for 90 minutes or peas are tender. Remove cover and cook until thickened a bit - 10 min?

Crumble the reserved bacon on top, if you want. If it didn't get eaten while sitting on the counter for two hours.

3 thoughts on “Sea Island Red Peas

  1. Girl from the North Country

    Damn you cleek (not really), for bringing up yet another tempting ingredient which English foodies probably can’t get! But you remind me that my sister and I still wear old Sea Island Cotton shirts of my 20-years dead father, which are so fantastic they feel like silk, not cotton. And I was already properly grown up (40s-ish) before I found out that Sea Island referred to islands off the southern USA, as opposed to somewhere even more exotic like the South Seas!


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