These are best when they have gone mushy and have plenty of salt and vinegar on the top. However, I have never made them myself, surprisingly. Until now, that is.
And ahhh yes – they are vegan too, by default of being simply a type of cooked-up dried pea, pretty much left in their water with some seasoning added. It’s funny, because I know so many people who say they have never eaten vegan food, and yet I know they have eaten black peas! So, um, they are wrong, hehe.
And to let you know – these turned out just like I remember them. Basically, the trick it seems is to boil them to the back of beyond, so they have no memory remaining of their life as a hard, dried pea!
Traditional Lancashire Bonfire Black Peas
To serve 6-8 people (the peas are meant to be eaten as a small snack/nibble, rather than a main course) use about:
1 cup / 150g black peas (maple peas) – soaked in water for 24 hours
After soaking and draining the black peas, cover them in plenty of salted water in a large pot, and bring to a raging boil. Then turn down the heat to a rolling boil, cover the pan, and boil for about an hour or slightly longer.
You want the peas to be very well-cooked, with the skins coming off. Once the peas are cooked and soft, drain them.
Now – to make the black peas really tasty – do the following with them:
1. Put 250ml / 1 cup of cold, fresh water in a pan, add the peas and bring the water to the boil. Turn the heat down to a high simmer.
2. Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable stock / bouillon powder to the peas and also 2 teaspoons of cider vinegar, as well as some salt and freshly ground black pepper.
3. Allow the peas to stay on a high simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The peas are ready when there is a small amount of grey-black liquid in the pan, just enough for the peas to be moist but not lots of liquid left.
4. Serve the peas individually in small pots, and sprinkle with salt and vinegar for the traditional way of eating them.