Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Borracho Style

New Year’s Day and black eyed peas just go together, right? These Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas bring vibrant Mexican flavors to a southern classic – Black Eyed Peas Borracho Style!

A white serving bowl of instant pot black eyed pease loaded with smoked turkey leg pieces and garnished with jalapeños, cilantro, and lime. A copper spoon and beige linen napkin accompany the bowl of peas.

Tamara Talks

A pic of the author Tamara.

A New Year’s Eve tradition throughout the south, there is evidence that eating black eyed peas for good luck dates back to 500 A.D. to the Jewish holiday Rosh Hoshanah and the Jewish New Year. The tradition of eating black eyed peas with rice originated in Africa, though, and spread throughout the South (especially the Carolinas).

As I write this post, I am in Davidson, North Carolina with 3 of our 4 sons, one daughter-in-law, and our 2 little grandsons. I have enjoyed black eyed peas on many occasions in the form of hoppin’ john – black eyed peas, a pork product such as bacon or salt pork, and collard greens. In fact, I made a pot to go with our son’s smoked ribs!

So why are black eyed peas lucky? One legend suggests that during the Civil War, black eyed peas were left behind after the Union army pillaged the Confederate supplies. Black eyed peas were considered animal food, and while the Union soldiers turned up their noses at them, the Confederate soldiers felt lucky to have supplies to get them through the winter. They became a symbol of good luck.

Have you ever had a pot of black eyed peas on New Year’s Day? I have, but only once or twice in my 60 years. I’m thinking this healthy black eyed peas recipe may change all that…

My inspiration for borracho style black eyed peas came from the Borracho Blackeyed Peas on the menu at the Dodging Duck Brewhaus in Boerne, Texas. Given my earlier post for Instant Pot Vegan Borracho Beans, this black eyed peas recipe came together in a flash!

How to Make Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas

The prepped ingredients for Borracho Style Black Eyed Peas: dried black eyed peas, smoked turkey leg, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin and Mexican oregano, beer jalapeños, limes, cilantro for garnish.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas


  • dried black eyed peas
  • smoked turkey leg
  • good canned tomatoes (I love these European tomatoes)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • ground cumin and Mexican oregano
  • Mexican lager (or similar)
  • jalapeños
  • limes
  • cilantro for garnish

Black Eyed Peas Cooking Steps

I don’t often do a “dump and go” Instant Pot recipe, so this is an exception rather than the rule… other than prepping some fresh garnishes – cilantro, jalapeños, and limes – that’s really all there is to it!

  1. Add all ingredients but the garnishes to the Instant Pot.
  2. Close and lock the lid.
  3. Cook under high pressure 30 minutes. De-pressurize after 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and bone the smoked turkey leg, then add back to the pot.
  5. Serve garnished as desired.

Tips and FAQ for the Best Black Eyed Peas

Do I have to add the beer? Nope! However, it is beer that provides the “borracho” flavor. You can substitute an equal amount of water or stock.

Can I substitute other dried beans? Yes. You may need to adjust the cooking time. See this cooking times chart for times (general reference only).

Can I freeze my cooked Borracho Style Black Eyed Peas? Yes. Place them in zip bags with that delicious liquid. They will be fine in the freezer for 6 months. Thaw them in a pan on the stove over low heat.

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas Borracho Style

A white bowl of black eyed peas borracho style with a copper spoon and garnished with jalapenos, cilantro, and lime wedges.

A Mexican twist on southern classic black eyed peas with beer, cumin and oregano, and bits of healthy smoked turkey.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
De-Pressurize Instant Pot 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 smoked turkey leg (see notes)
  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 15 ounce can tomatoes
  • 1-2 jalapeños
  • 1 12 ounce bottle of beer (see notes)
  • 5 cups water 
  • sea salt and pepper (to taste)
  • cilantro, lime wedges, jalapeños (garnish)

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients but the garnishes and salt/pepper to the Instant Pot.
  2. Close and lock the lid.
  3. Cook under high pressure 30 minutes. De-pressurize after 10 minutes.
  4. Remove and bone the smoked turkey leg, then add back to the pot. Stir to combine.
  5. Serve garnished as desired.

Notes

I like smoked turkey legs due to reduced calories and fat, and because they are very meaty. You can substitute ham hock or salt pork, but the calories and fat will increase.

I use Corona lager. Any light lager is fine. You don't want to muddy the flavor with a strong-flavored beer.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

4 servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Total Fat: 2gCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 11g

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