Couple things you need to know about corn bread:
- It is only ever to be made in a well-seasoned cast iron skillet
- You should only ever use bacon grease as the hot fat
I do use different utensils when making different kinds of corn bread, but when you’re dealing with just straight up corn bread, this is the go to. It’s the base for the most awesome cornbread dressing in the world. It’s what you slather red beans, butter beans, black-eyed peas, or any other stewed legume over. If you have leftovers, you pop a slice of it into a warm oven with a a soaking of honey and pat of butter hanging out on top of it, then pull it out and eat with a fork when the butter is melted.
Don’t mess with this cornbread, people.
- 1 egg (the recipe says beaten. Ha. Like I’m going to pre-beat something that’s just going to get stirred anyway.)
- 2 cups self-rising corn meal mix
- 1-1/3 cup milk (whole milk, not that crap you can practically see through)
- 1/4 vegetable oil
- bacon grease
Heat oven to 450°. Plunk a large dollop of bacon grease into a well-seasoned iron skillet and stick it in the oven to melt. (Keep an eye on it. You don’t want to burn the grease … just melt it and get the skillet to oven temperature.)
In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix well.
When the bacon grease is melted, pull the skillet from the oven (super-carefully!!) Pour the batter slowly into the skillet. Some of the bacon grease will roll up and over onto the top of the batter … this is a good thing. Trust me. You’ll also notice that the edges of the batter start cooking right away. If this happens, you know your skillet is perfect.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Should be dark golden brown around the edges and a dry gold slightly tinged with brown toward the middle.
Run a butter knife around the edge if you need to loosen the cornbread (but you shouldn’t need to if the skillet was properly seasoned.) Slip a thin metal spatula under the bread and just let it hang out there in the skillet to cool if you’re using it for dressing. If you’re serving it with a meal, slice like a pie and have at it : )