A hot skillet full of cornbread is my idea of comfort food. My Grandma made the most glorious buttermilk cornbread. But when you brown up some cubes of smoky ham and diced onions to delicious golden brown perfection, toss in a generous amount of cubed cheddar cheese, and fold that all into Grandma’s cornbread batter before scraping it into a screaming hot cast-iron pan with melted butter in it and baking? Well, shoot. That’s where we’re talking about heaven in the form of food.
My Grandma told me once that her idea of the perfect cornbread was one that held together without being sweet to cover up all that lovely corn flavor. But this Ham Cheddar Onion Cornbread, friends… That roasty, toasty cornbread exterior is fairly bursting with golden brown ham cubes, caramelized onions, and pockets of melted Cheddar cheese. A wedge of it plus a big green salad is all you need for a fast, filling dinner. If you’re so inclined, you can serve it alongside a ham dinner, a hearty soup, or just as a stick-to-your-ribs snack. I’m fairly certain my Grandma would approve. Hatfield Quality Meats Classic Boneless Ham is a perfect choice for Ham Cheddar Onion Cornbread because those adorable family-sized boneless hams yield enough to make a hearty batch of cornbread and have enough ham leftover to dice and serve on salads, stir into ham and egg muffin cups, add to soups, grind in the food processor for a ham ball recipe, or even make a pile of ham sandwiches.
Who wants a slice?
- Before you even preheat your oven, brown those ham cubes and diced onions together in the same cast-iron skillet you’ll use to bake the cornbread. Scrape the ham and onions out of the pan and onto a plate to let them cool ever so slightly before you stir them and the cheese cubes into your cornbread batter.
- Preheat your oven AFTER you’ve browned the ham and onion. This gives the ham and onion time to hit the optimal temperature before being mixed into the batter.
- If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, you can use a square or round cake pan. Just melt the butter in the pan as directed in the recipe and after mixing up your Ham Cheddar Onion Cornbread batter, transfer to the hot cake pan instead of a cast-iron skillet.
Use this to make Ham Cheddar Onion Cornbread:
- cast-iron skillet
- mixing bowl
- sturdy but flexible spatula
To learn more about Hatfield Quality Meats great line-up of American grown and cured products, visit the Hatfield Quality Meats Website.
Ham Cheddar Onion Cornbread
- 1 pound Hatfield Quality Meats Boneless Ham diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 onion peeled and diced
- 8 ounces extra sharp Cheddar cheese diced into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal not self-rising
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- 5 tablespoons melted butter divided
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- bacon grease or butter for the pan
In a heavy cast-iron skillet, brown the ham cubes and diced onion together over medium low heat until they are both golden brown around the edges and fragrant. Transfer to a plate.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the cast-iron pan and set in the oven to melt. Watch that the butter doesn't burn.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients including the remaining butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a whisk to gently combine them, ensuring there are no dry pockets of cornmeal. Stir in the browned ham and onions, and Cheddar cubes.
Pour the cornbread batter into the greased pan and bake for about 30 minutes, or until a skewer or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Serve warm for best flavour. Leftovers can be stored -wrapped in plastic wrap- in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours, but will taste best if reheated slightly before serving.
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