Gone Country

Our dinner the past two nights was pork’n’beans and cornbread.

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Sunday was a gloomy day.

It was a great day, don’t get me wrong! Nick and I had fantastic day, full of friends and fun activities.

But it was gray and overcast and there was a chill in the air.

When we took Maggie to the park that afternoon, we both had to wear our fleece jackets.

Fall is here.

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After a cool walk in the park with Maggie, I was very happy I had this meal on the menu plan for this week.

Making pork and beans with cornbread for dinner was fun. I felt like I should have put on my cowgirl boots, just for kicks.

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Pork and Bean Soup, inspired by Food & Wine Pork and Pink Bean Soup with Corn Muffin Croutons

  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup lean ham, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 can chili beans
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can pinto beans
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • scallions, garnish
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat and add 1 tsp oil.
  2. Add diced ham and cook, 3-4 minutes, until it starts to brown/crisp up.
  3. Take ham out of pot.
  4. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Remove.
  5. Put diced onion and garlic into leftover oil/bacon grease in pot and cook, 3-4 minutes, until softened.
  6. Stir in tomato paste and maple syrup and cook 1 minute or until everything is combined.
  7. Add in beans, broth, tomatoes, salt, and cayenne.
  8. Heat through 10-15 minutes.
  9. Serve.

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As for the cornbread, the simpler, the better.

I also like to make cornbread in my cast iron skillet in the oven. The entire bottom and sides get an amazing crust that you don’t get in a glass baking dish.

I’m a big fan of cornbread recipes that don’t use flour, too. All cornmeal, all the way! A good cornbread recipe really just needs a few things: cornmeal, salt, buttermilk.

I used this Buttermilk Cornbread Recipe from Food & Wine – it was great! I don’t like my cornbread too sweet, and the little bit of honey in this recipe was just the right amount. The cornbread was the best dipper for our soup.

The best part about this meal?

Everything was even better Monday night.

The cornbread heated up well, and that soup? SO much more flavor on the second night! Isn’t it funny how some meals taste even better a day after you make them?

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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD & WINE archive.  As a FOOD & WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD & WINE.  I received a subscription to FOOD & WINE for my participation.

12 comments

  1. Cast iron cornbread is the way to go! I just made a variation on it using rye and buckwheat and corn flour. Mmm so good and so perfect for the grey weather we’re having!

  2. Cornbread is actually one of my favorite types of bread. Not too sweet and so addicting!

  3. I made cornbread on Sunday night and it has rapidly been disappearing!

  4. Ah cornbread. It’s been a staple in my diet this week, too. And I’m pretty sure one of the reasons is that during the fall it goes well with every other meal as a nice “comfort food” addition on the side.

  5. Ahhh how I wish I lived in the South! This meal sounds right up my alley!

  6. We just LOVE making cornbread (gluten free) in our house!! Such a comfort food!! :) And that soup looks wonderful!! :)

  7. Yep, I am all for cast iron skillet corn bread. When I worked in Chicago, I used to walk to a restaurant called Heaven on Seven – a cajun/New Orleans restaurant – I would shell out $2.50 (12+ years ago!) for a square of their jalapeno corn bread at least three times a week – heaven indeed!

    Love your soup idea – I think I will steal it :D

  8. I need to get myself a cast iron skillet because I would love to try that corn bread!

  9. How very fun! I already subscribe to Food & Wine so I agree the recipes ar definitely awesome. There are quite a few out of the October issue I’ve been eyeing and I made a corn & crab soup from another issue I had around (September or August maybe?) that was fabulous but sadly too ugly to photograph and put on the blog. I adore meals that are better the next day. Being a single girl almost everything I make gets eaten as leftover so if it can keep well that is definitely a plus!

  10. Soup and bread. It’s such a true comfort meal! :)

    Have a fantastic night darling.

  11. CAST IRON FOR LIFE.
    That was a little obnoxious. But it does make everything taste better,cornbread included!
    I was thinking the other day about how many old-timey songs mention beans and cornbread…I kind of want to do a blog series recreating the recipes from the lyrics….cornbread and butter beans (and you across the table) is a tune that comes to mind!

  12. cornbread in a skillet = so cozy!

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