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Cast-iron Cooked, Hickory-Smoked Flavored Purple Hull Peas and Hamburger

Garden fresh purple hull peas cooked in a cast-iron skillet with a couple slices of hickory-smoked bacon (drippings included) makes the best pot liquor imaginable--especially when about 1/2 lb. of fresh ground beef and your favorite Cajun seasonings are added to the pot.


  • 3 cups fresh purple hull peas, culled and rinsed
  • 2 slices hickory-smoked bacon, fried and crumbled (save drippings)
  • water, (enough to cover peas)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef, browned
  • 1 Tbsp. Colgin liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large cast iron skillet, crispy-fry 2 strips of hickory-smoked bacon
  2. Remove bacon strips and set aside to crumble up after cooling down
  3. In the same skillet, brown the 1/2 lb. of ground beef in the bacon drippings
  4. Add the crumbled bacon bits
  5. Next, stir-in the fresh peas and coat them well
  6. Braise the peas and meats on medium heat for 5 minutes before adding water
  7. Slowly add 2 cups of water and stir well (you will add more water later when needed)
  8. Add all of the dry seasonings and Colgin Liquid Smoke, stir and mix well
  9. Cover with lid and continue cooking on medium heat until peas are tender--about an hour. 
  10. Stir occasionally. Add a small amount of water at the time as needed.

This delicious side dish can be prepared in a 12" cast iron skillet (with lid) entirely on medium or lower heat in about an hour. One of the good things about using cast-iron cookware is the even heat distribution (for slow and low cooking).

Simmer the peas, stirring every few minutes--adding a small amount of water now and then to compensate for evaporation. Keep just enough water to barely cover the peas. 

It is important to note that cast-iron pots and pans are not ideal for storing the foods which are cooked in them. To avoid a metallic taste, or darkened peas, remove them from the pot and add them into another vessel as soon as practical.

This simple meal can be served as a side-dish, or over cooked rice. Bon Appetit!

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