Hoppin’ John

by Barry Lewis


2 bacon loins, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
2 small red chillis, chopped & de-seeded
2 garlic cloves
1tbsp ground coriander
2tbsp cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
small tin kidney beans (200g)
tin black eyed beans (400g)
long grain rice to serve
sliced sprng onion for garnish

In this video recipe I am joined by Sean who wants to make a great dish called Hoppin’ John. This is a real crowd pleaser served with rice that will be very popular around the dinner table. This brought back memories for my guest Sean, he said the dish reminded him of his Grandfather and when he used to make it. I’ve got to be honest, you may think that looking at the picture it could be bland, this is far from it, in fact with a gentle little kick.

Start off by warming some olive oil in a pan and cooking up your bacon lardons, you can use normal bacon if you wish or omit if you are vegetarian. Get them nice and cooked through, 5 minutes or so. Then add in the onion to soften for say 3 – 4 minutes, letting them take in some of the bacon flavour.

Next up chuck in the pepper, celery, chilli (optional) and garlic cloves stir this through for a good 5 minutes or so to soften up and add even more flavour. Next comes the bit in the video I put round the wrong way, you may spot it, but it doesn’t matter at all in what order you do it. Add in both the tins of beans, the cajun seasoning, coriander and the bay leaves. Mix this all through to merge with the other ingredients in the pan. Simply top with water until covered and then simmer for a good 30 minutes.

The simmering of the water helps to soften the beans fully and reduce down ramming it full of kicking (or should that be hoppin’ john) flavour! I’ve not done this before but it was very similar to adding a stock cube, the final flavour was very, very good indeed. While it is simmering away simply put your long grain rice on to package instructions.

Serve with a big dollop of rice in a bowl and spoon over the flavour packed simmered down hoppin’ john topping, finish with some sliced spring onions! Amazing.

This hoppin’ John recipe is a right stonker, I hope you give it a try!