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Venison Hoppin’ John and Wild Boar New Year's Cabbage

Every self respecting Southerner will be familiar with, and likely participate in the New Years tradition of black eyed peas and cabbage. Colloquially called Hoppin’ John, this dish is typically served on New Year's day to ensure wealth, prosperity, and good luck for the coming year. The historical reality is probably that black eyed peas were considered a cheap and even low class food that the majority of the poor south could either grow or afford to feed large farming families and cabbage is a late season crop that can easily survive the mild southern winters, making it the obvious choice for a green veggie in January.

"A simple and easy recipe-perfect for New Years!"

The historical tradition of this recipe is hard to track down in its exact origins but we know it has been a well documented staple of Southern cuisine since black eyed peas made the voyage across the Atlantic from Africa with the slaves during the early foundations of what would become the United States.

This is our take on a Southern Staple and an excellent way to start off the year with whatever wild game you have in your freezer. Also these are so incredibly easy, everyone should give them a go!

We are making two separate dishes here so we will keep the ingredients separate accordingly. Feel free to use whatever ground meat you have, we used venison and wild boar. I am not going to put exact amounts of meat here, we cook for two in my house with leftovers to take to work, don't over-think it and add as much or as little as you want. There is no wrong answer with wild game. Same with spices and seasonings, season to your heart’s content!


Hoppin’ John

  • ½-1lb ground venison

  • 1 can Black Eyed Peas

  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa

  • 1 can diced tomatoes

  • 1 yellow onion

  • 1 tbs butter

  • Some of your favorite greens (We used Kale)

New Year's Cabbage

  • Your favorite type of sausage (we used wild boar, about ½ lb)

  • 1 head of cabbage (we used Nappa)

  • 1 tbs sugar

  • Black pepper

  • Red pepper flakes (optional)


Hoppin’ John

1. In a pan add 1 tbs of butter and half a diced yellow onion. Sauté your onion over medium heat until translucent (3-5 minutes) and then add your ground meat of choice.

Onions, browned meat, tomatoes, peas, and salsa

2. Once meat is browned add 1 can of black eyed peas, 1 can of diced tomatoes, and as much salsa as you desire. We used about ¾ cups of salsa.

3. Stir and incorporate ingredients then add your greens to the pan, a couple handfuls, roughly chopped. Cover and reduce heat to let simmer for 10 minutes.

4. That's really it. Too easy and absolutely delicious. Feel free to serve over rice or add your favorite hot sauce!

Handful of kale on top for color and crunch

New Year's Cabbage

  1. In a pan add 1 tbs of butter and your sausage of choice. Over medium heat until meat is browned.

  2. Optional: We threw in some diced onion left over from the Hoppin’ John

  3. Add rough chopped cabbage, 1 tbs of sugar, and a little water. Just enough water to help the cabbage steam and cook down, if you over do it (like I did) remove pan cover to let water evaporate.

  4. Cover and cook down the cabbage for about 10 minutes at a simmer, finish with seasonings of choice, we uses black pepper and red pepper flakes. Sriracha is highly recommended if you're into hot sauce.

Serve and Enjoy! Be sure to tag us in your pictures!

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