The only cornbread I grew up eating was the sweet, muffiny kind, lovingly made by my New England bred mother. It wasn’t until I moved down South that I really experienced TRUE cornbread– the crunchy, savory kind that requires a cast iron skillet and bacon fat.
JP’s Mom is an incredible cook and she taught me how to do cornbread right. Mine never quite tastes as good as hers, but it’s pretty darn close. You can eliminate the jalapeños if you don’t want added heat, but I don’t recommend it!
6 slices bacon
2 1/2 cups Buttermilk
1 tsp salt
2 jalapeños chopped up with seeds (optional)
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, mix together buttermilk, egg, salt, cornmeal mix and chopped jalapeños. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter.
In a cast iron skillet, cook 6 bacon slices on medium high heat until they’re crisp and all the fat is rendered in the pan. Take out the bacon and turn up the heat until the bacon drippings start to smoke. Pour cornbread batter into the skillet immediately. (The hot bacon fat makes a decadently crispy crust to the cornbread.) Then put the skillet in the oven uncovered and bake at 400 for 40 minutes.
Split the cornbread open and slather on some butter….It’s awesome served with chili or soup.