Black-eyed peas Bercy aux crevettes

I got Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas, and I’m totally inspired.  New Year’s Day traditionally requires at least one meal with black-eyed peas, so I put two and two together: black-eyed peas with some 16-bean mix for color, shrimp for flair, and a bercy sauce to push it completely over the top.

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Dry Ingredients:

  • 16 oz dried black-eyed peas, sorted
  • 8 oz dried 16-bean mix, sorted
  • 1 TBS kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 C celery, diced
  • 1 C yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced then crushed
  • 1 lb pre-cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch cubes OR sausages, cut into coins
  • 1 lb shrimp, cooked (pre-cooked from the meat counter is easiest for this particular recipe)
  • 2 1/2 TBS flour blended with 3 TBS softened butter to form a paste

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 C white wine
  • 32 oz chicken stock
  • ~4 quarts cool water
  • 3/4 to 1 C half-and-half


  • Soak, rinse, and drain (as directed) black-eyed peas and soup beans (together) as directed.  Return peas and beans to boiling pot.
  • Add wine, chicken stock, salt, and cayenne to the peas.  Add enough water to cover the beans by about two inches, roughly 4 quarts.
  • Bring pot to a boil, then simmer for 1/2 hour.
  • Add celery, onion, and garlic to the pot.  Bring pot back to a boil and continue simmering for another 1/2 hour.
  • Add ham to the pot.  Continue simmering until peas are tender but hold their shape.
  • Off heat.  Pour 3 C of the boiling liquid into a large saucepan and rapidly boil down the liquid until it has reduced to 1 or 1 1/2 C.
  • While sauce is reducing, warm the shrimp.  One option is to put the shrimp into the boiling liquid, a handful at a time, for about 20 seconds.
  • Off heat, beat the flour and butter paste into the hot liquid, then 1/2 C of the half-and-half.  Bring to a boil.  Thin out the sauce with additional dollops of half-and-half until it coats a spoon nicely.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (This is the Bercy sauce.)

To serve:

  • Spoon 1 1/2 C of the cooked peas without any liquid into a wide, flat bowl.  Arrange several shrimp in the center of the peas.  Spoon 1 or 2 TBS of the Bercy sauce over the shrimp and serve.

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