Black eye beans with Ham

8 oz smoked lean ham steak, diced 

1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and soaked overnight

2 bay leaves

1 tsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and minced

1 tomato, diced

1/2 tsp chili powder (I used chipotle)

1-1/2 teaspoons cumin

salt to taste

1 tsp ground black pepper

Soak peas overnight in 6 cups of water. The next morning, drain peas and add to slow cooker. Add 4 cups of water, bay leaves and ham. Cover and cook on high 6 hours or until the beans are tender. After 6 hours, in a large frying pan, add oil and sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and tomato until soft, about 6 minutes. Add to the slow cooker and season black eyed peas generously with salt, cumin, chili powder and black pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 to 1 1/2 more hours. Discard bay leaves and serve.

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