Close this search box.

Fresh 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.

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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Scroll to Top

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to my newsletter for all the latest updates: