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This is a nice southern dish that you can use as a side dish or as main course. Smoked sausage or bacon can be used in place of the hamhocks if you so desire. Serve the beans and meat over rice. This is known as Southern Caviar and is eaten on New Year's Day. The black-eyed peas represent luck and the cabbage represents money. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned black-eyed peas in place of the dried beans, which shortens the cooking time for a quicker version of this recipe.
- Wash the peas; place in large pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil. Once it reaches a boil, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 1 hour. After the 1 hour is up, drain the peas and set aside.
- Add oil to pot; sauté the ham hock, onion, and celery until tender.
- Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
- Add peas cover with water about 1 to 11/2 inch over peas.
- Add pepper, parsley, and about 1 teaspoon of salt to start with.
- Bring to boil; stir, reduce heat and simmer about 2 hours, or until peas are tender. Keep checking every once in a while to see if more water is needed, and taste to see if more salt is needed.
- Stir occasionally.
- Water will turn into a gravy; serve over rice.