This photo earned me at least one Twitter marriage proposal, and several self-invited dinner guests. If you like ribs, you would've loved these. I do the same thing every time, but these were exceptionally good.
I served coleslaw and cornbread alongside, as usual, but this time I tried a Southern-style (that is, unsweetened) cornbread—once again, from The Cornbread Gospels. It was good, but you know what? This Northerner prefers a little sweetness. Granted, when combined with the BBQ sauce and coleslaw, you don't notice, but I like the taste of a very lightly sweetened cornbread slathered with butter, all on its own. That being said, this would be a very nice accompaniment to chili or some other dish where you pretty much have to mop and dip.
Basic Southern Cornbread
¼ cup butter or bacon drippings (I used butter but promptly kicked myself for not using bacon drippings, which I keep in the fridge.)
2 cups fine stone-ground white cornmeal (I had only yellow on hand.)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1½ cups buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Place butter in a 10" cast-iron skillet and put skillet in oven to heat.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, beat together egg and buttermilk. Add wet mixture to dry, using the absolute minimum number of strokes needed to moisten dry with wet.
4. Remove hot skillet from oven and swirl it around so the butter coats the bottom and lower sides of the skillet. Then pour the remainder of the hot butter into the batter, and stir a couple of times.
5. Dump the batter into the hot skillet, put the skillet back into the oven, and bake the cornbread until it is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Serve, hot, in wedges from the pan.