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This is an easy recipe for basic beans and Texas-style cornbread, which is the only kind of cornbread I like. It’s grainy in texture, flatter, and very crispy and brown on the outside, with no hint of sweetness at all.
Beans and cornbread. They just go together.
For the beans: Rinse beans in cool water; pour them into a large pot, cover with water by 2 to 3 inches. Slice the bacon into 1-inch thick pieces and throw it into the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 2 hours, or until beans are tender. Add additional hot water to the pot as needed. Beans should have a thick broth. Toward end of cooking time, add salt and pepper and season to taste. Don’t over-salt. For a variety try adding chili powder, garlic or Tabasco. Serve in a bowl with cornbread. Can be served with small bowls of grated cheese, chopped onions, chopped fresh jalapenos, sour cream, and/or cilantro.
For the cornbread: Preheat oven to 450 F. Heat shortening over medium heat in an iron skillet (10-12 inch size), muffin pan, or other oven safe pan. Combine cornmeal, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk, milk, and egg. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add baking powder and baking soda. Stir to combine. Add ¼ cup of the melted shortening, stirring constantly. Pour the batter into the hot pan, smoothing the surface with a spatula. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.