Cornbread is a Southern cuisine staple that has become an increasingly popular as a comfort food side dish. Typically served alongside chili made with ground meat, the hot and spicy flavor match with the sweet and buttery taste of cornbread to complement beautifully.
Not only does it give flavor to ground meat, but cornbread also goes well with all types of meat, though some are better than others.
What meat goes well with cornbread? The best meat to use alongside cornbread includes pork, beef, chicken and turkey. Additionally, cured meats are an excellent source to compliment flavor and texture in a dish which include ham, bacon, and chorizo.
Other than meat, seafood and fish are alternative options that go well with cornbread such as crawfish, lobster, oyster, crab, shrimp, clams, cod, and catfish.
Eating cornbread alongside any protein is excellent, even if it is dry and without gravy or sauce. Substitute the meat source for whatever you prefer, but it is best to use meat you know how to cook really well.
Among the list of different types of meat, which flavor is the best for cornbread? Read no further, here are meat selections to complement with sides of cornbread.
What meat pairs well with cornbread?
The best meat to serve with cornbread ultimately depends on the recipe selection.
When making food parings, texture and flavor are very important. Combining foods with similar textures and flavors will create the best food pairing globally.
In terms of finding the best meat pairing with cornbread, here are some ideas:
- Meat: pork, beef, chicken, turkey
- Cured meat: ham, bacon, chorizo
- Shellfish: lobster, oysters, crab, shrimp, clams, crawfish
- Fish: cod, catfish
What meat goes good with pinto beans and cornbread?
While you can use any meat, pork is the best meat with pinto beans and cornbread. The texture of pork is similar to that of pinto beans, and the taste blends well with its flavor profile.
Make chili or stew with pork and pinto beans, or cook them directly on the stovetop. The pork flavor from ham hocks, ground pork or bacon goes well with pinto beans because they complement each other on multiple layers of flavor.
In addition, pork can be in the form of sausage or chorizo. This will give more in-depth flavor and spice to the stew that enhance the overall experience with cornbread.
What main dish goes well with cornbread?
The main dish to cook alongside cornbread in southern cuisine is soup or stew with pinto beans since they are native to that region. The beans are earthy, creamy and soft, which contrast perfectly with the dry texture of the cornbread.
Cook it in a crockpot or make it on the stovetop and then put it into a Dutch oven for a long cook for maximum flavor and consistency. Substitute pinto beans for hominy and serve alongside salsa if you enjoy a spicy Mexican soup.
Here are main dish ideas to serve with cornbread:
- beans and ham
- chicken noodle soup
- pork chop and gravy
- fried chicken
- salmon patties
What meat flavor goes well with cornbread?
How you marinate the meat according to the recipe can offer variety of flavors to the entire meal. The spicier and saltier the main dish with meat, the sweeter and butterier you want to make the cornbread.
- Pork: The best meat flavor that accentuates cornbread is pork. Pork has a similar texture and flavor profile to corn, so it would be easy to pair the two together and make a delicious stew that the meat doesn’t overpower. If you marinate the pork for at least twelve hours, it can bring out the flavors of both. Furthermore, the fat from bacon can add a stout taste that works well with cornbread.
- Beef: Prime rib is an excellent choice to go alongside cornbread. The combination of fat and protein will make both dishes more flavorful, as well as make your mouth water with the right texture to soothe your cravings. The texture of prime rib in gravy is similar to pork, but it has a different flavor profile to match the cornbread.
- Chicken: It is a great meat to go alongside cornbread. The combination of chicken and cornbread is excellent because it harmonizes so well together. Prepare it in the oven, bbq or fryer, but you have to cook it for quite some time to get the essence of fall off the bone flavor.
Pork, beef, and chicken are great protein options to consider pairing with cornbread. If you are looking for classic ways to marinate these meats, here are flavor combination for you to try next time:
- cornbread + pork + bbq sauce + Coca Cola + brown sugar + chili powder
- cornbread + prime rib + olive oil + sea salt + rosemary + black pepper
- cornbread + chicken + sour cream + sweet corn + red bell pepper
Meat and Cornbread: Conclusion
When choosing meat to serve with cornbread, you can use any meat you prefer. However, the best choice would be pork or beef since its salty and meaty flavor compliments the sweet and crumbly texture of cornbread very well.
If you are not a pork person, chicken is a great alternative. Furthermore, substituting with cured meat, seafood, and fish will be equally as good.
When it comes to pork, beef, and chicken, consider marinating or flavoring the sauce or broth accordingly without overpowering the cornbread itself.
Additionally, when making this food pairing, keep in mind that pork and pinto beans have a concentrated flavor. So they need to be cooked longer than other foods to breakdown the bonds and release flavors held deep inside.
By combining the right taste and texture with cornbread, you can create a delicious main dish including chili, meatloaf, chicken noodle soup, BBQ, fried chicken, jambalaya, and more.
Whether you are preparing a fulfilling and hearty meat dish to serve with cornbread, use this guide and tips to make complementary foods that everyone is sure to enjoy.