Black-eyed beans (or black-eyed peas, or cow peas) probably originated in Africa where they are widely used across the continent. They are also popular elsewhere, especially in the southern states of America. Savoury, smooth in texture with a slight nutty flavour, they are among the quickest of the dried beans to cook, and are very versatile.
It is often said that black-eyed beans do not require the usual long soak in cold water, but soaking them is little trouble and it speeds up the cooking. This should take between twenty and thirty minutes.
To illustrate the points made in my Truly Basic Information about the use of Onions Leeks and Garlic, I'm giving two versions of black-eyed bean pâté to illustrate the views outlined there. The first of these two versions is perhaps more suitable for a semi-formal dinner or supper party; quite rich, silky, the onion and garlic much in evidence.
The second is merely a simplified version of the first, quicker and easier to make. It is just as strong in flavour, but smoother, less oily, and obviously, with no garlic flavour or aroma, perhaps more suitable for the breakfast or lunch table. All of this is a matter of personal taste, choice, and preference.
Black-eyed beans, 225g (8 oz) cooked weight, or the contents of one 400g tin, drained and rinsed
Half a medium sized onion2 cloves of garlic, crushed2 field mushrooms, peeled and chopped
½ level teaspoon of dried marjoram
Salt and pepper
A dash of soy sauce
Fry the onion and garlic gently in fat or oil ( I used vegetable fat ) taking care that they do not burn. Add the mushrooms. Stir well in and cook for a couple of minutes, using a little more fat or oil if necessary. Add all the other ingredients, cover with stock, and simmer together until virtually all the liquid is reduced. Blend, adding more liquid if needed. Pot and allow to cool before covering. Chill in fridge. Freezes well.
Black-eyed beans, 225g (8 oz) cooked weight, or the contents of one 400g tin, drained and lightly rinsed
2 field mushrooms, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and pepper
A dash of soy sauce.
Fry the mushrooms gently in the oil or fat. Stir in the black-eyed beans and all the other ingredients. Cover with stock and simmer together until virtually all the liquid is reduced.
As with the first version, be careful to blend with as little liquid as possible, pot the mixture, leave to cool, cover and put in the fridge to chill. This also freezes well.