This corn pone recipe is a mid-winter favorite of mine, going back to my grad school days in London. I love the way corn pone uses up the lovely, beany stew made earlier in the week. And corn pone does this without descending into the dreaded ‘leftovers night’ category of meals we’ve all eaten. Oh, corn pone as I make it has always been gluten free, and with minimal tinkering vegans up nicely. The vegan alternatives are folded into the recipe below
About the pan: An 11″ or 12″ cast iron pan is the vessel in the title. If you want to halve the recipe for your smaller household, use an 8″ or 9″ cast iron pan. If you don’t have one of those, but do have an oven safe dish, 9″ X 13″, you can use that.
Cast Iron Corn Pone
4 cups juicy, flavorful, beany stew (juice it up with beer, wine, cider or stock if it’s too thick–but you still only need 4 cups total)
2 cups, 10 oz, cornmeal
1 fat pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
4 cups buttermilk, OR 3 TBSP vinegar with sweet milk to fill to 4 cups, OR 3 TBSP vinegar with the milk alternative of your choice to fill to 4 cups
2 eggs, slightly beaten, OR 3 TBSP ground flax seed meal whipped in a mini-blender with 1/4 cup water until foamy and goopy
1/4 cup melted, slightly cooled fat (butter, Earth Balance, lard, peanut oil or coconut oil are all better options than olive oil or canola oil)
Position a rack at the top of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Over a medium low flame, heat your juicy bean stew until very hot and bubbling.
Meanwhile mix the cornmeal, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl, stirring well to evenly distribute your ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients together until well amalgamated.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just smooth. Pour the corn mixture over the bubbling beans. If you’re using a 9″X13″ baking dish, grease the dish well and pour the bubbling beans in first and the corn mixture over them.
Turn the oven temperature down to 425°F. Bake the corn pone on the top rack until a rich golden brown and the pone has slightly pulled away from the sides. It will be ready in about 25-30 minutes. Dig in while its still hot.