1For beans, rinse the beans thoroughly, and put them in a large pot with the bacon. Pour water over top. Use enough water to cover the beans by 1 or 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 2 to 3 hours
2If the liquid seems to evaporate too quickly, add more water during cooking process. The beans are done when they’re tender without much bite
3Add in the salt and pepper. Stir and taste, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Add in other seasonings as desired. Serve in a bowl with the cornbread, topping with a dollop of sour cream and sprig of cilantro if you wish.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. shortening
5To make the cornbread, Preheat oven to 450. In a bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder. Stir together. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir.
Pour milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork til just mixed. Don’t overstir.
In a small bowl, melt 1/4 cup of shortening in the microwave. Slowly add the melted shortening to the batter, stirring constantly til just mixed. In an iron skillet over high heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons shortening. Pour the batter into the hot skillet and spread to even out the surface. Cook on stovetop for 1 minute, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes til golden brown. The edges should be crispy. Slice into squares and serve with the beans.
For variation, stir 1 small can diced green chiles or 1 diced fresh jalapeño into the cornbread batter before pouring it into the skillet.