This is the most sought-after recipe at Butter Pat Industries. And no wonder—not only is cornbread the perfect dish to break in a new cast-iron pan (or build seasoning in an old one), but between the masterful cooking of chef Sean Brock of Nashville and the help of craft grain millers at Marsh Hen Mill in Charleston, this go-to version makes a side that’s so good, you’ll want to eat it for an entire meal.

Yields one 10-inch round loaf.

Best cooked in the Heather.


  • 2 cups coarse cornmeal, preferably Marsh Hen Mill’s Jimmy Red Cornmeal
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1½ cups full-fat buttermilk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup, plus 1 Tbsp. rendered fresh lard, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a 10-inch cast-iron skillet like the Heather in the oven to preheat for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the cornmeal, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk, egg, and ¼ cup of the lard in a small bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just to combine; do not overmix.
  3. Carefully move the hot skillet from the oven to the stove, turning your burner to high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of lard and swirl to coat the skillet. Pour in the batter, distributing it evenly. It should sizzle.
  4. Remove the skillet from the stove and place back in your preheated oven. Bake the cornbread for about 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You can serve it warm from the skillet, or immediately invert the cornbread onto a plate or cooling rack to preserve its crunchy crust.

Recipe courtesy of Sean Brock. Photo courtesy of Netflix’s Chef’s Table.

January 28, 2020

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