Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a nine-inch cast iron skillet or muffin pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in any desired herbs, cheese, corn kernels, or other flavorings. In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, milk, butter, and egg. (Note: for moister cornbread, substitute a quarter cup of vegetable oil per four tablespoons of butter.) Pour liquid into the flour mixture, stirring quickly and gently until just combined. Spread the batter into prepared skillet or pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until edges begin to pull away from the pan and fork inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on rack for five minutes before cutting. Serve warm.
Salt Pork Succotash
Heat fat and salt pork in large heavy skillet over medium heat; sauté for about two minutes until pork is translucent. Add onion and season with salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about five minutes. Add greasy beans. Stir and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add thyme, tomatoes, corn, and squash. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add stock and butter and cover. Simmer until corn and beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm before continuing. Heat oven to 450°F. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 20 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and basil.
Reduce chicken or rabbit stock (recipe online) in a pot over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until it reaches a thick gravy-like consistency. Add a pat of cold butter and stir until butter melts.
To assemble, slice cornbread and place in bowl with one cup of reduced rabbit stock. Garnish cornbread with succotash. Top with fried rabbit legs (below).
Rabbit StockCourtesy of Mike Moore, Blind Pig Supper Club
(Yields 5-6 cups)
1 rabbit carcass (about 1½ lbs.), cut into large pieces
7 cups water
2 small carrots, trimmed, peeled & chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 small onion, peeled & chopped
3 sprigs fresh parsley
Small handful fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
Put rabbit bones and water into a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim and discard any foam and impurities that float to the surface. Add carrots, celery, onion, parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, and gently simmer for two and a half hours. Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve set over a large bowl or medium pot, pressing the solids to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. If clearer stock preferred, strain stock a second time through the sieve lined with two layers of cheesecloth. Season with salt to taste. Remove from heat and let cool, uncovered. Cover and refrigerate. Skim any congealed fat from surface when ready to use.
Fried Rabbit LegsCourtesy of Mike Moore, Blind Pig Supper Club
2 rabbit legs (dressed from whole carcass; use bones for stock and reserve saddle and loin meat; ask farm to butcher the pieces if needed)
1¼ cup milk
Salt, to taste
3 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. Texas Pete hot sauce
2 cups flour
8 cups vegetable oil for frying
Place rabbit legs in a mixing bowl and add milk, salt, one teaspoon of pepper, and hot sauce. Refrigerate overnight or at least two hours in advance of cooking. When ready to cook, drain rabbit pieces but do not pat dry. Put the flour and remaining two teaspoons of pepper in a brown paper bag and add the rabbit pieces. Shake well to coat thoroughly. Shake each piece to remove excess flour. Heat oil in skillet or deep fryer to 375°F. Add rabbit legs, one at a time, to hot oil. Cook until legs are crisp and well browned. Drain and lightly season with salt and pepper. Serve with Skillet Cornbread and Salt Pork Succotash.