One of my favorite meals will always include beans and cornbread. For this batch, I had a pound package of Great Northern Beans in the pantry. Great North Beans are large, white beans that resemble a lima bean in shape with a delicate distinctive flavor. I normally add a ham hock, chopped ham, or bacon to beans while they cook. This time, I used a rich chicken stock that added a wonderful flavor to the beans.
If possible, allow time for soaking the beans overnight in cool water or, at the very least, for a few hours. Pick through the beans and discard any that are shriveled. Place in a large bowl and cover with cool water by at least 2 inches.
When you're ready to cook the beans, drain the water and place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with fresh water (or chicken stock) and bring to a boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and cover, leaving the lid a little askew to allow the steam to escape. Stir the beans occasionally and add more water or stock if necessary.
Simmer until beans are tender and cooked through. Add salt to taste as the beans near the end of their cooking time.
If you have a delicious pot of beans, cornbread is a MUST!
Here's my simple, easy cornbread recipe.
2 cups of self-rising white cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
2 T. bacon grease
Yes, that's it. That's the entire recipe.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium mixing bowl, add cornmeal and then slowly stir in buttermilk until it's well blended.
Put the bacon grease in a cast iron skillet and heat it over medium heat until a drop of the batter sizzles.
Pour the batter into the skillet and bake until golden brown about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest in skillet for a few minutes before turning out onto a serving plate.