Heat a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Add the bacon fat and sweat the onions and celery in the bacon fat until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and pork jowls and cover with 2 inches of water. Add the bay leaves, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer the peas until tender, about 2 hours, adding more water if need be to make sure the peas are covered by 2 inches of liquid while cooking. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste. Serve over rice.
Recipe courtesy of John Besh