We didn’t have beans and cornbread when I was growing up because it didn’t have enough meat in it to satisfy our family. But I did get to eat it with our neighbors and I grew to love it. Over the years, I’ve developed my own recipe for this dish and I still enjoy having a good bowl of beans with a side of buttered cornbread. Larry puts the cornbread in his beans. You choose which way you like to eat it. In fact, I’m about to go make a batch right now!
1 lb pinto beans
2 to 3 32-oz boxes chicken broth – I prefer Pacific Organic Free Range Chicken Broth because of the rich taste
4 slices thick bacon, salt pork, ham hock, or diced ham
1 tsp salt – eliminate if you use salt pork or ham hock
2 tsp black pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp Fiesta Pinto Bean Seasoning to taste (www.fiestaspices.com)
Pick through the beans, getting rid of any bad ones or pieces of dirt. Pour the beans into a soup pot or Dutch oven. Cover with chicken broth by 2 to 3 inches. Slice bacon into small pieces and add to beans.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Check the beans every 20 minutes or so and add more chicken broth to pot as needed. Beans should end up with a thick broth.
Toward end of cooking time, add salt, pepper and Pinto Bean Seasoning to taste. Don’t over-salt.
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp shortening
1 cup corn meal
½ cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup milk
1 Tbsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons shortening in a cast iron skillet, muffin pan or 9”x9” baking pan.
Combine corn meal, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, and egg. Add baking powder and baking soda and stir. Add ¼ cup melted shortening, stirring constantly.
Pour into hot pan, smoothing surface with spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.