British Pease Pudding
Pease Pudding is an easy, British side dish made with yellow split peas that are cooked with vegetables and smoked ham.
What is Pease Pudding?
Pease Pudding is not even a pudding, it is more of a paste (like hummus). It is made by cooking yellow split peas with a smoked ham hock or shank with vegetables, then blended or mashed.
Not to be confused with mushy peas, this is a native dish to the North East of England from the 14th Century that has its own rhyme. It has been dubbed as ‘Tyneside Pâte’, or Geordie Caviar which. Also, the name is not a typo, there really is an ‘e’ on the end of peas. Not sure why.
What is the Pease Pudding rhyme?
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.
Some recipes don’t call for the use of ham broth to cook the split peas, including my own mothers. Cooking it this way gives a great depth of flavor and once you try it this way, I think you’ll prefer it too.
Use of the ham shank/ham hock
The ham shank is only used to flavor the broth. Once you have used it, you can save it to use the ham for Ham & Split Pea Soup.
Traditionally, Pease pudding is served in a sandwich roll with ham or as a side dish with sliced ham. It can be served warm or cold. Personally, I like it warm or room temperature because the flavors are better which makes it portable for road trips and picnics.
Another dish served in the North of England is a British pork sausage called a Saveloy, a cooked sausage. It is like the British version of a hot dog that can be served with Pease pudding.
Additional serving suggestion
Blend with chicken stock to make a smoky lentil soup.
How long does Pease pudding keep?
In a sealed container, refrigerated up to 1 week. Contrary to the rhyme.
- 1 ½ cups (300 grams) yellow split peas, rinsed
- 1 ½ pound (711 grams) Ham hock/shank/ham bone or smoked bacon
- 2 carrots, peeled
- 1 onion, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Add the split peas to a bowl and cover with water, make sure they are well covered. Leave overnight, or 8 hours to soak at room temperature.
- Add the ham hock/shank/bone or smoked bacon, to a pan and cover with 3 liters (12 cups) water. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, remove the ham shank/hock, vegetables and bay leaves.
- To a pan, add the split peas pour over enough of the ham broth to cover, about 4 cups (1 liter). Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, stir in the salt and butter. Mash or use a blender to achieve your desired consistency.