Mushy Peas

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The first time I had mushy peas was, not surprisingly, in London when I was visiting my daughter. And, not surprisingly, I had them because they came with my fish and chips. I was a little skeptical, not being a huge pea lover, but they were good! Really good!
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The peas are often also served along the other quintessential British pub dish meat pie.
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The peas traditionally used for mushy peas are called marrowfat peas, and they’re dry peas, cooked from scratch. But I have never seen them, and decided that a bag of frozen peas will have to work.

What gives mushy peas their unique flavor is mint. It turns out it’s really a lovely combination!
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I found a recipe on the Jamie Oliver website. Mushy peas are insanely easy to make.

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Mushy Peas
Recipe by Jamie Oliver

1 knob butter
4 handfuls podded peas
1 small handful fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
1 squeeze lemon juice
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

So since I have no podded peas, here’s my version of this recipe.

1 – 1 pound bag frozen peas, thawed
1 ounce unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
1 squirt lemon juice
Salt
Black pepper

Drain the peas in a colander to remove any excess water from the peas.
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Place the peas in a food processor and pulse. I made mine a cross between whole peas and completely mushed up peas. I noticed that in my top photo with the fish and chips, the mushy peas look like a mixture of pea purée and whole peas, and the peas with the meat pie look softer, and more mushy. So you can probably make them just about any way.

To quote Jamie Oliver: “You can either mush the peas up in a food processor, or you can mash them by hand until they are stodgy, thick and perfect for dipping your fish into.”

I think mine might not be stodgy enough, but then, I’m not sure what stodgy means.

Place the butter in a medium-sized pot that has a lid, and add the stodgy peas.
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Add the mint leaves, cover the pot, and simmer the peas on low for about 10 minutes.

Give the peas a good stir, then add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.


And that’s it!
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Unfortunately, I didn’t have fish and chips, but I did pan-fry a Swai filet and the combination was fabulous!
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I’m wondering if children who hate peas might actually enjoy mushy peas!

69 thoughts on “Mushy Peas

  1. Stodgy – well, no idea what that is, but sounds like the perfect way to serve peas ;-)

    I am definitely giving this a try soon… mint and peas are indeed a great combination

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  2. I have always shied away from those big frozen peas, they scare me and my husband told me horror stories of his mom (a horrible cook) who put those large frozen peas into a dish they called “Salmon Wiggle,” which they had every Sunday during Lent and everyone dreaded it. Canned salmon, large frozen peas, mixed with noodles or something. ACK! But actually these do sound good, but I’d probably go with frozen petite peas, just to be safe, lol. :)

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  3. I just came back from England, and brought back a packet of dry marrowfat peas! I love the idea of using fresh peas as well, I’ll try using a mixture when I make mushy peas. And I’ll definitely make them on the less “mushy” side, like yours!

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    • Isn’t that funny! I do wish I could play with the real peas, just for curiosity sake, but they are good using frozen, and maybe next spring I can try them with freshly podded peas. Excessively mushed peas just remind me of baby food, although I could have mushed mine a bit more…

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  4. What a lovely post, Mimi. You are spot on. As Darya said you can buy the peas dried in bags like lentils in England. If you really want some, let me know I’ll put them in the post when I get stateside on any of my trips over the next few weeks.

    The thing with mushy peas is their texture. A bit like lumpy porridge, when combined with the dry fish and chips they are a match made in heaven which cleans the palate. I don’t recall seeing them ever served with anything else!

    Have you heard of pease pudding?

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    • Yes I have heard of it but I had to look it up! Seems like every pudding is a dessert! When I’ve visited Ireland and the UK, I tried everything I could, from cullen skink to black pudding, but I obviously missed the pease pudding! That’s awfully nice of you to offer to send me the dried peas, and I do like to try everything the authentic way, if possible, but my husband really like the mushy peas the way I made them, using the frozen peas, so that will just have to do. But thank you so much!

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  5. I love, love mint!! Being Greek as you know my friend, we incorporate it into a lot of our dishes. It brings such a slight freshness and sweetness! I have never heard of this dish, but I definitely will be making this!!

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  6. Sitting here in the UK this made me giggle .. I actually don’t know anyone that eats them! You can buy them canned already mushed and also the marrow fat peas in a can too.. The soaking bit I am not aware of anyone doing for years.. Very funny post.. You made me smile! Yours look very nice.. What this side of the pond would call crushed peas.. And restaurants would charge a lot for!

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  7. Mushy peas in the UK are like Marmite, you either love them or hate them (and I absolutely love them – same goes for Marmite!). I think a working explanation of stodgy is chunky and thick… ;)

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  8. And here I was thinking that you were going to talk about a pea cooking disaster of mushy peas. Little did I know that it’s intentional. All I remember about what I call mushy peas is what was served in the school cafeteria.

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  9. Chef Mimi, I had fish ‘n’ chips when I was in England (many moons ago…), but there was nary a mushy pea in sight. However, I think this is a brilliant side dish for “f & c” and SO much more! Glad to learn that my struggling mint plant can be used for more than just mojitos. ;) LOVE this!!!

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  10. I, like you have never been that fond of green peas. But my husband loves them, and when I look at your beautiful pictures, I think, “Now there’s something to try.” I had a lot of fun on our inspiringcuisine.com blog trying out some ideas for making bitter Brussels sprouts sweet by using maple syrup or even raisins.

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    • Very interesting. I’ve only had bitter B. sprouts at a restaurant. Do You think they get that way if they’re too old? Because to me they are sweet. But I have used cranberries in them, and that’s so good. Peas are still not my favorite vegetable!

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