Make the black-eyed peas
Place the peas in a large bowl. Pick through and discard any stones. Add cold water to cover by 2 inches and soak 8 to 24 hours. (For a quick soak, put the peas and water in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and let soak for 1 hour.) Drain the peas, discarding the water.
Heat a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium heat. If using hog jowl, salt pork, or bacon, add it and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp and the fat has rendered, about 5 minutes. If using a ham hock, heat the canola oil over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and drained peas (and the ham hock, if using) and bring to a boil. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the pilaf
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.
Melt the butter in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty ovenproof pot over medium heat until foaming. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until coated with butter and translucent around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the broth and stir. Bring to a boil, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and transfer to the oven.
Bake until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.
Serve the peas over the rice, garnished with the banana peppers. Pass the hot sauce on the side.
nutrition information (per serving):
38, Fat Calories
340, Saturated Fat
30, Monounsaturated Fat
104, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips