Kielbasa and Black-Eyed Peas

Preparation time: 15 minsKeilbasa and black eyed peas
cooking time: 25 mins
Serves: 4

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme plus a squeeze of lemon juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 dried bay leaf
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (about 1 1/2, 15.5-ounce cans)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen chopped spinach (optional)
Cornbread or steamed white rice for serving
Hot sauce for serving (optional)

Steps:

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kielbasa and brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onion is soft and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until the garlic is fragrant about 1 minute. Mix in the tomato paste, cooking until it starts browning on the bottom of the pot, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Pour in 1 cup water and the vinegar, stirring it into the onion, then add the sugar, mustard, bay leaf, and black-eyed peas. Return the kielbasa to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the sauce is rich-colored and slightly thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach (if using), until wilted. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Serve in big bowls with cornbread or over rice, with the hot sauce on the side (if using).

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