In our winter magazine, we published the results of a survey about how our subscribers dealt with the trials of the last year. Many of you cooked and baked to cope and to spend time with your family and friends.
Send your food and drink recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org — and let us know what you think of any that you try out!
Bev Gunn here, an Texas rancher. A story with my recipe:
In our family we have been ranching cattle in Texas since 1836. My dad, the old Texas rancher, used to say that while the Foster family did not fight for Texas Independence, we had been fighting to stay free during every war, skirmish, and battle. He served in World War II, teaching women to fly so pilots were available stateside for flying ferrying flights, and he taught the Glider pilots who went in on D-Day. Then my husband flew in ’Nam and our son flies in this war, so we have been ranching and flying and defending many generations.
My dad loved eating the beef he raised and had butchered. He loved it all, including liver and onions, but hamburger meat was difficult for him. He loved burgers, but other than that he did not like hamburger meat. Mama said it had to do with what he was served during World War II. I am guessing it might have been SOS that he did not like, but in any case mama had a certain amount of hamburger she needed to be able to use. Dad would tolerate meatloaf about once a year, she said, so she looked for a recipe he might like, and when she found it she knew she had a winner.
Over the years I have embellished it. I made it once for Daddy, and he liked it. We use Lamb’s Coarse Stone Ground Cornmeal, a Texas brand we have used for nearly 60 years.
1 lb ground chuck (you can use leaner ground meat if you desire, but I used 80/20)
1 large onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp bacon grease (or use canola oil if you like)
1 tsp Morton’s Nature’s Seasons seasoning blend
Taco seasoning if desired
1/2 tsp cumin
Sauté onions first in bacon grease or oil and then add garlic. Do not burn, as garlic will become bitter. Add the hamburger meat and seasonings and brown, then remove from heat. Brown in an oven-proof skillet (I have a cast-iron skillet I’ve used for decades) and keep the meat in the skillet. You will bake it in there.
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tsp honey
1 cup cornmeal (I use Lamb’s)
1/2 cup AP flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar, cheddar jack, or pepper jack cheese or mixture of your choice (reserve 1/2 cup grated cheese for top of mixture)
1 can creamed corn or 1 can (7-ounce) Mexican-style corn
1 jalapeño, if you desire heat
2 green onions, chopped and divided (about 1/4 cup)
Preheat oven to 350° F.
Now, using Lamb’s cornmeal or your favorite (or you can use a packaged mix of cornbread), put 1 cup of cornmeal in a mixing bowl, 1/2 cup AP flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Mix these dry ingredients well to combine.
Melt the butter in microwave. Then beat eggs in another bowl with the cooled melted butter and honey. Add the other wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be lumpy. Gently stir in the 1 cup of the cheese, corn, peppers if you use them, and 1/2 of the green onions.
Pour this mixture over the browned meat in the cast iron skillet (or oven-proof skillet of your choice). Be sure to cover all the meat. Then on top of the cornbread mixture you have poured over meat mixture, sprinkle the reserved green onions and cheese.
Place the skillet in oven for approximately 28 to 32 minutes or until the cornbread mixture is done, when you can stick a knife into the cornbread topping and it eases out clean.
In our family we love this meal in the winter especially. We love it with salsa, guacamole (we Texans use any excuse to eat guacamole). You can also sprinkle more cheese on each serving. Serve directly from oven to waiting bellies. You will be happy indeed!
– Bev Gunn