Fresh Field Peas Recipe

| August 27, 2012 | 28 Comments

Fresh Six Week Field Peas Recipe
Field peas, fresh from the garden, are a great side dish to all types of meals.  There’s just a special deliciousness to anything straight out of the garden that you don’t find in canned or frozen items.  Here’s a quick and easy side dish that’s perfect for dinner through the week or…on Sunday.


Fresh Field Peas
Field Peas Recipe:

One of my friends at the auction house I visit each week, recently gave me a bag of freshly shelled Field Peas.  I was very thankful to receive them…especially since they were already shelled….and, I was eager to cook them up as soon as I could.

I never was one that enjoyed trying to shell peas or butter beans.  I always bite my fingernails so I don’t usually have any to actually use in shelling peas and beans of any type.  Maybe that was why I started my nail biting in the first place, as a means to get out of shelling peas.

Fresh vegetables just have a totally awesome different taste than those that are canned or frozen.  During the summer, they are usually available already shelled at our local roadside stands or at the North Carolina State Farmers Market about 45 minutes away.

This variety is known as a Six Week Pea but Field Peas come as Crowder Peas, Purple Hull Peas and some other varieties.  All will be a great side dish and all are prepared pretty much the same way.  So, grab some when you can and….Let’s Get Cooking!


Field Peas Recipe:  You’ll need these ingredients.


Fresh Field Peas, side meat.
My seasoning of choice for this dish is known as Side Meat.  It’s the same cut as a slab of bacon and has been cured but not smoked.  Bacon will work, bacon grease will work, salt pork and a few others will work.  It’s whatever you have on hand or whatever you personally prefer.

Side meat is available in packages in the meat department of most grocery stores.  Just a couple of miles from my home, we’ve got a produce stand that sells it.  They keep it hanging in a cabinet inside their building and you just tell them about how much you’d like to purchase.  They open the door, slice off a hunk, wrap it in butchers paper, weigh it and collect your money.  It’s pretty much the way it was done many years ago.  Just cut off a few small pieces of the side meat for the recipe.


Fresh Field Peas, place side meat in saucepot.
Place the slices in a sauce pot and turn the heat to about medium to let it cook down.  We want to fry it down a bit to extract the flavors.


Fresh Field Peas, prepare the spring onion.
Yellow or white onions will work for this recipe.  I just happened to have a couple of Spring Onions on hand and wanted to use those.  I’ve rinsed it off under cool running water.


Fresh Field Peas, slice off the end.
Slice off the root end of the onion.


Fresh Field Peas, remove the outer leaf.
Remove the outer leaf of the onion.  It’s usually really easy to spot, just pull it off and discard.


Fresh Field Peas, cut in half.
Slice the onion in half and line up the pieces.


Fresh Field Peas, slice the onion.
Slice the onion.


Fresh Field Peas, side meat fried.
Fry up the side meat until it’s golden brown.  Then, remove the pieces of meat from the pot but, leave the grease in.


Fresh Field Peas, add some water.
Add about 2 cups of water to the sauce pot.  You need enough water to cover the peas by about an inch so it will really depend on how many peas you are cooking as to how much water you’ll need.


Fresh Field Peas, add the peas.
Bring the water up to a low boil and then add the peas.


Fresh Field Peas, add the onions.
Add in the onions.


Fresh Field Peas, add the sugar.
Drop in about one teaspoon of sugar.  Sugar was mama’s secret ingredient in about all of her vegetables when she cooked them.


Fresh Field Peas, stir it all together.
Stir it all together and let it come back up to a low boil.  It’s going to start foaming up a bit and we’ll want to remove that.


Fresh Field Peas, foam.
As the peas heat up, you’ll probably start seeing some foam in the sauce pot.  This is natural with the fresh peas but we want to scoop it out.


Fresh Field Peas, remove the foam.
Grab a spoon and scoop off the foam.  Discard it.


Fresh Field Peas, cover and simmer.
Cover the peas and reduce the heat to about medium-low.  Let them simmer until done.


Fresh Field Peas, taste test for doneness.
After about 25-35 minutes, take out a small spoonful of the peas and taste them for doneness.  Peas need to be fully cooked, but not mushy.


Fresh Field Peas, add some black pepper.
Add in the Black Pepper.


Fresh Field Peas, add the salt.
Add the salt and let the peas continue to cook until they’re done to your liking.  If by chance the water has cooked out of them, just add a little more to keep them slightly covered and let them cook.


Fresh Field Peas, chop the meat.
The side meat has a skin that fries up hard.  Take your knife and slice the hard section away.  Chop the remaining pieces of meat and add them to your pot of peas.  The remaining hard pieces make a great snack to chew on while you work.  Just saying.


Fresh Field Peas, serve and enjoy.
Serve them up warm with your favorite meats.  Of course, they can almost be a complete meal within themselves.  Maybe garnish them with a little more freshly chopped onion, grab a piece of cornbread and just dig in.  The peas went very well with my freshly sliced tomatoes.  Enjoy!


clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon print print icon squares squares icon
Fresh Field Peas

Fresh Field Peas Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Field peas, fresh from the garden, are a great side dish to all types of meals. There’s just a special deliciousness to anything straight out of the garden that you don’t find in canned or frozen items. Here’s a quick and easy side dish that’s perfect for dinner through the week or…on Sunday.



  • 34 cups of freshly shelled Peas.
  • 2 ounces of Pork Side Meat, Bacon or Salt Pork for seasoning.
  • 12 Spring Onions.
  • 1 teaspoon of Sugar.
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Black Pepper


  1. Slice the meat seasoning and place in a saucepot over medium heat.
  2. Rinse the Spring Onion under cool running water.
  3. Slice the root end off of the Onion.
  4. Remove the outer leaf of the onion.
  5. Slice onion in half, line up pieces and finely chop or slice.
  6. When done, remove the meat pieces from the pot but leave the grease.
  7. Add about 2 cups of Water or just enough to cover the peas by about 1 inch.
  8. Bring the water to a low boil.
  9. Add the peas.
  10. Add the onions.
  11. Add Sugar and stir well.
  12. Bring back to a low boil. Scoop off any foam that forms and discard it.
  13. Cover and reduce heat to Medium-Low, let simmer for about 25-35 minutes.
  14. Taste the peas for doneness, they should be done but not mushy.
  15. Add Black Pepper.
  16. Add Salt, stir well and continue to cook if needed until done to taste.
  17. Chop the meat pieces and add to the peas.
  18. Garnish with more freshly sliced onion if desired.
  19. Serve warm and Enjoy!

Keywords: Fresh Field Peas Recipe, made from scratch, six week peas, easy, southern recipes, side meat


Your Comments:  Do you grow your own Field Peas?  What’s your favorite variety?  I’d love to hear from you and hope you’ll take a moment or two to share a few comments while you’re here.  It’s the only way I have of knowing that you stopped by and I’d really appreciate your taking the time to share some of your thoughts with me.  Did you have to shell peas or beans as a child?  Did you enjoy it?  Please know that all of our comments are moderated and will not appear on our site until I’ve had the chance to read them and approve them.  I read each and every comment posted and will try to reply to as many as I can.  So, leave us a comment and then check back later to see our response.  Thank you for helping us spread the word about Taste of Southern.  I do hope you’ll visit with us again real soon.

Be Blessed!!!


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. FPP News: June 1, 2016 | Front Porch Pickings | May 27, 2016
  2. Newsletter: May 27, 2014 | theveggiebin | May 23, 2014
  1. Lynette Pittman says:

    Conch peas are coming in right now in Florida and I just bought a pound shelled out this morning at a produce stand a couple of blocks away. Was checking to see if you cook them any differently from my mother, but it sounds about the same except for the sugar. For one aunt that bit of sugar was her secret ingredient in the best string beans I’ve ever eaten.

  2. oldnuke says:

    I used to love to shell field peas at my grandparent’s little farm in Starkville, MS. For a purely selfish reasons — we’re going to have peas at dinner! 🙂

    Every child should spend a little time at a farm. Besides caring for the chickens and cows, there was a bull to ride. No horses at their farm (not enough room), but the bull was lots of fun once he got to know you.

    It sure made me appreciate farmers, being a city boy.

  3. Anne S. says:

    Great recipe! I used it to prepare some fresh White Acre Peas. I added the sugar as recommended; but used turkey bacon as my meat. I found 1/2 t. pepper and 1/2 t. salt to be perfect. Absolutely delicious!

  4. Andrea says:

    Thanks for this recipe. Got field peas in my csa box, made them using your recipe. My first time making field peas and they were delicious!

  5. ricardo says:

    I never been into field peas , but the picture sequence….better than any professional site. Many pictures and less writing…good for me.

  6. Ashley says:

    These were terrific! Thanks for sharing your recipes! The only thing I did different was boil the peas in low sodium chicken broth, I’m not sure it made any difference it’s just how my momma always boils beans of any kind. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes 🙂

  7. Robert J. Howard says:

    Great recipe, but southerners never ever put sugar in their vegetables. Mom as secret, or not. Only Yankees do that

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Robert, Guess I’ll have to be a Yankee then. (Smile) It just makes it all better, so I’ll have to stick with adding it. Can we still be friends?

      Thank you for your comment. I do appreciate your visit, and hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Myra Lovett says:

      I am from Alabama, raised in Mississippi, and have lived in NC longer than both combined. NC seems to favor vinegar and hot sauce in the simplest of veggies. Has turned me off of much of the diner food around here. Vinegar BBQ sauce is a favorite in our area also. My husband makes fun of me when we go to Cracker Barrel. I half a corn muffin and press it down into the turnip green juice. Yum!

    • Agnes says:

      My mom and aunts did and they were very southern and the food was delicious!

  8. Melanie says:

    I have never cared for black-eyed peas but my husband is from Arkansas and taught me to eat purple hulls. I know they are related but purple hulls have such a different flavor and I can eat them any day of the week. I have yet to try crowder peas.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Melanie, Hopefully you can find some fresh Crowder peas and try those. You can buy them frozen but there’s just something different about having them fresh in my opinion. Thanks again for your comments and do visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • P dollar says:

      If you can find 6 week peas, try them. Wonderful taste. A little milder than the others

  9. Deb says:

    Hi Steve, I just posted on black-eyed peas, but I didn’t post a recipe as you did. I only gave a human interest account of eating peas. The only thing I can add to this is to ask if you’ve tried seasoning them with rosemary…totally makes the pea recipe come alive! Now that my daughter has prepared them with rosemary for a few years now, I always enjoy them spiced that way! Aren’t peas just the best??!! 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Deb, I just responded to your post on the Chicken Salad. I’m running a bit behind in my posts as I’ve been on several road trips in the last few days. I actually crossed the Ohio River for the first time and spent all of 10 minutes in Chesapeake, Ohio before continuing on a trip to Louisville, Kentucky.

      I’ve never tried the Rosemary but will have to do that. Thank you for the suggestion. Thank you again for stopping by and do visit with us as often as you can. I hope to check out your site as well to see how many baskets “Granny” sold. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Steve did you by chance notice a tiny now-run down little town called Cairo, Illinois, as you crossed the Ohio River into Kentucky??? That is my home town from many years ago, and where I have memories of some of the BEST southern home cooking in the whole world, in my book! Still to this day there are a couple restaurants there that can make your toes curl! My mom and Grandma taught me about shelling purple hulls, crowd er, black eyed peas, etc.They made pickled watermelon rinds, cha cha, you name it. I am so blessed to have experienced all this!

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Beverly, I’m sorry but I don’t remember a town by that name. Saw so many though along the way, can’t remember them all I’m afraid. Smile. We both are blessed to have been able to experience such things. Kids now days have no idea what they’re missing. I never actually enjoyed shelling peas but at least I can say I did a few. Thank you for sharing your comments today. I appreciate your visit and do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  10. Brenda says:

    Having picked up some fresh field peas while driving through Wilmington this weekend, I especially appreciate your recipe. Sounds much like the way they were prepared when I was a child. I can’t wait to give this a shot. I would like to know if you are aware of any growers in Virginia. With such similar climates, it seems to me there would be but, as a resident of coastal Virginia, I haven’t been able to find field peas. Thanks again for the recipe and any help you may provide in finding some of these gems closer to home.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Brenda, Thank you for stopping by Taste of Southern. I do hope the Field Peas turned out well for you. I’m just sorry you had to drive all the way to Wilmington, NC to find them. Ha!

      Since you didn’t say exactly where you live along the VA coast, I can only suggest you try the Virginia Beach Farmers Market. I can’t guarantee they have them but it seems like a likely place to find them.

      I’m sure there are other Farmers Markets around your area but I’ve only visited this particular one at Virginia Beach. And, if you do go, be sure to have a meal at the Princess Anne County Grill while you’re there. My brother and I really enjoyed the meal we had when we stopped by there.

      You might also want to check out this site: Virginia Dept of Agriculture

      I hope you can find some locally. Maybe one of our readers might be able to offer some help as well. Thank you again for your visit and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Katherine says:

      We got some in our last CSA box from Cullipher Farms which is in Pungo (Virginia Beach)

  11. Em says:

    Hi Steve, my family and I were dining at the Farmer’s Market Restaurant in Raleigh a couple of weekends ago, and I ordered the field peas. They were the best thing I ordered that day. Being not a farmer and barely even calling myself a gardener, I have no clue what variety I was served. They definitely were not black-eyed peas or even the same size. They were smaller, reddish/maybe considered purple? Do you have an idea what they might have been? I’d love to find out so I can get my hands on some more. I live closer to the Piedmont Triad market, so I need to check the supplies around there to see if there’s anything like the ones I had in Raleigh. Thanks for posting this recipe! I hope to try it soon.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Em, Thank you for your comment. I hope you enjoyed your visit to the Farmer’s Market Restaurant. The food there has always been excellent and, I really wish I could make biscuits like the one’s they serve. I suspect you may have had some Crowder Peas. It sounds like what you described but hey…I could be wrong. Chances are you will have to find them in the frozen food section of your grocer at the present time. There are quite a few different varieties of field peas so I hope you find what you’re looking for. I sent the restaurant an Email to see if they would tell me but, thus far, they haven’t responded. I’ll try again in the next day or so. Please let me know if you try the recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Thank you again for your comments and I’ll look forward to you stopping by again for another visit…real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

      UPDATE: Em, I just got this Email from Tony G. at the restaurant: Steve, we use a mix of Field Peas & Snaps from around the area that supply us year round even in winter months. If she would like to try a good product, she can always look for Allens, that’s what we were raised on here in Eastern NC and if we were to ever run out, NO DOUBT I would use Allens. I am attaching the website below. Please pass along a heartfelt Thanks for her business and a special THANK YOU for taking the time to write..God Bless Steve and BEST of luck in your venture!!!

      That’s straight from the Raleigh – State Farmers Market Restaurant. Cool huh?

      • Em says:

        Thank you so very much! (very cool!)

        • wyndham o says:

          Now, how do you make those biscuits?

          • Steve Gordon says:

            Hi Wyndham. By the time you read this, I’ll have a recipe posted for my Mama’s Buttermilk Biscuits. I was asked to do the recipe for the Our State Magazine website and had to wait awhile before I could post it here on Taste of Southern. I hope you’ll like it and give them a try. I’ll be waiting to hear how they turn out for you.

            Thank you for the question. I’m just glad I could get the recipe online for you. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *