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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Newfoundland Pease Pudding in the Pot


Pease Pudding  (or Peas Pudding) is a savoury, side dish made of boiled, mashed and seasoned yellow split peas.  A delicious addition to your dinner or supper meals.


Pease pudding hot,
Pease pudding cold,
Pease pudding in the pot
Nine days old.

Some like it hot,
some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot
Nine days old.
~Traditional~


I don't think I'd want "Pease pudding in the pot nine days old" but I do know I like pease pudding in the pot one or two days old!   Pease pudding is a very traditional dish served with Newfoundland cooked dinners. (Also known as Jiggs Dinner, Salt Meat Dinner, Boiled Dinner, Sunday Dinner and in our house, it's Vegetarian Cooked Dinner.)  A traditional cooked dinner consists of easily obtainable root and cruciferous vegetables boiled together in a large pot with some kind of salt meat. Fresh meat and gravy may also be served.  Potatoes, carrots, turnip and cabbage get top billing but sometimes turnip greens replace the cabbage.  Some families also cook parsnip along with the other vegetables.  My aunt always had a can of green peas ready to open to "stretch the dinner" if extra guests turned up at the table. The meat part of the meal is be some kind of salted beef or pork cooked for several hours in boiling water to which the vegetables are added about an hour before serving.  Along with the salt meat a roast, chicken or turkey with dressing and gravy often accompanies the dinner.  Sweet mustard pickles and pickled beets are the choice of condiments.  

Now, you'd think this would be a sumptuous enough dinner to fill the emptiest of stomachs.  But, no there's more.  Cooked along with the dinner are several puddings.  There might be a plain pudding, a figgy duff (raisin pudding), a blueberry pudding, a partridgeberry pudding or an onion bread pudding.  These are steamed puddings, boiled in a pudding bag or cotton pudding cloth right in the dinner pot with the vegetables and meat.  (You need a large stock pot for a cooked dinner.) Of course you wouldn't have them all at the same time but, regardless of any other pudding that may appear on the plate, there is always a pease pudding.

There are several ways to make a pease pudding. My mother-in-law, Nan Gill, always made hers in a pudding bag or cloth.  The peas are poured into a cloth bag and loosely tied, leaving room for the peas to expand.   The bag of peas is boiled with the meat for several hours and removed when the dinner is finished cooking.  The cooked peas are scraped from the bag, mashed with butter and salt and pepper.  My mother, Nan McBay, made her peas pudding in a pot.  The peas would be poured in a pot, covered with water and boiled for several hours until thick and mushy.  The peas are then mashed with butter and salt and pepper. Another way of making peas pudding is using a canning jar.  Punch holes in the lid of the jar.  Half fill the jar with peas. Lay the lid on top and screw down with the band.  Place the jar in the pot with the meat and boil until the dinner is finished cooking.  Mash the cooked peas with butter, salt and pepper.  

As, I stated above, my mother always made her peas pudding in a pot so that's how I usually make mine.  I've also made it in a pudding bag but for me, as a vegetarian,  it is more convenient and very easy to make it in the pot.  

The recipe for Pease Pudding is more of a process than a precise set of measurements.  I will give you the instructions for 1 pound of yellow split peas but the same instructions and process is used for any amount of peas you may wish to cook.  

Note: I deliberated long and hard on the spelling of "pease" or "peas" pudding.  You see it is spelled both ways and, especially in Newfoundland, I see "peas" as much as "pease".  So if you spell it "peas", please know that I know neither of us is probably wrong or right, ha, ha.  


Peas Pudding in the Pot
1 pound/454 grams dried yellow split peas, about 2 rounded cups
Water, as needed
1 vegetarian "beef" bouillon cube, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
Butter to taste--lots of butter

Sort through the peas before cooking.  Remove any shriveled or dirty looking peas.  Be on the look-out for small stones.  In a strainer, wash and rinse the peas with cold water.  Place the peas in a medium large sauce pan and cover with more cold water.  Place on a medium high burner and bring the split peas to a boil.  Once the peas boil, turn down the heat so the peas will simmer.  

Once the peas start to soften, about an hour, season with the bouillon cube or use about ½ teaspoon salt if you don't use the bouillon.  Let the peas remain on the stove, on simmer, until they become soft and mushy.  Add more water if needed.  Cook until the peas are quite thick.  Stir occasionally so the peas won't stick.  The whole process will take 2- 2½ hours to complete.

Once the peas have cooked to the desired consistency season with salt and pepper to taste and beat in as much butter as you like.  At least 2 or 3 tablespoons.  (If you wish to keep this vegan use a vegan margarine.)

Pease Pudding can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator.  Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove.  Stir several times to ensure the pudding heats through.  

Pease Pudding will become thicker the longer it sits.  If it becomes too dry, add a little water to bring it back to the proper consistency.  

Store any leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator for several days.  Leftover Pease Pudding can also be used to make a quick pea soup or a delicious vegetarian dinner loaf.  

Makes 8-10 servings.  


Dried Yellow Split Peas are readily available in most grocery stores.  They come in various size bags.

Pick over the peas and then wash and rinse the peas.  Place the peas in a medium to large saucepan and cover with cold water.

Let the peas come to a boil and then turn down the heat and let them simmer about an hour.  The peas should be starting to soften but they won't be done.

When the peas are starting to get really soft add the vegetarian bouillon cube or the salt and continue cooking.   

Once the peas have turned very soft and mushy, beat in the butter.  Taste and add salt and pepper to taste if needed.  

The peas should become quite smooth.  If they seem too watery, let them cook a few more minutes stirring occasionally so they won't stick to the bottom of the pot.   

 Upon standing, pease pudding will become thicker.


Pease Pudding plain or with a little drizzle of gravy makes a tasty addition to any cooked dinner.


Pease Pudding--a great, traditional, Newfoundland dish.

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Peas Pudding in the Pot
Pease Pudding (or Peas Pudding) is a savoury, side dish made of boiled, mashed and seasoned yellow split peas. A delicious addition to your dinner or supper meals.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound/454 grams dried yellow split peas, about 2 rounded cups
  • Water, as needed
  • 1 vegetarian "beef" bouillon cube, optional
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Butter to taste--lots of butter
Instructions
Sort through the peas before cooking. Remove any shriveled or dirty looking peas. Be on the look-out for small stones. In a strainer, wash and rinse the peas with cold water. Place the peas in a medium large sauce pan and cover with more cold water. Place on a medium high burner and bring the split peas to a boil. Once the peas boil, turn down the heat so the peas will simmer.

Once the peas start to soften, about an hour, season with the bouillon cube or use about ½ teaspoon salt if you don't use the bouillon. Let the peas remain on the stove, on simmer, until they become soft and mushy. Add more water if needed. Cook until the peas are quite thick. Stir occasionally so the peas won't stick. The whole process will take 2- 2½ hours to complete.

Once the peas have cooked to the desired consistency season with salt and pepper to taste and beat in as much butter as you like. At least 2 or 3 tablespoons. (If you wish to keep this vegan use a vegan margarine.)

Pease Pudding can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove. Stir several times to ensure the pudding heats through.

Pease Pudding will become thicker the longer it sits. If it becomes too dry, add a little water to bring it back to the proper consistency.

Store any leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator for several days. Leftover Pease Pudding can also be used to make a quick pea soup or a delicious vegetarian dinner loaf.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8-10 servings

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