Southern Hoecakes

27 Jan

Mmm mmm mmm, everything is better when you add bacon grease!

This is a recipe I make maybe 1 – 2 times a year (usually for dinner) because it’s heart-attack worthy.

Hoecakes are a famous southern recipe. They are basically pancakes made of cornmeal that is fried in bacon grease. They are also known as Johnnycakes. I read that their origin dates back to the 1700s when Native American’s would cook them on hot rocks. The method was later adapted by field hands who often cooked them on a shovel or hoe held to an open flame. Hoes designed for cotton fields were large and flat with a hole for the long handle to slide through; the blade would be removed and placed over a fire much like a griddle. This is how they got their name, hoecakes.

I was first introduced to hoecakes by one of my favourite television shows, True Blood. There is a scene when one of the main characters, Tara, wakes up and her mom, Lettie Mae, has prepared some hoecakes. She is pleasantly surprised because this is one of the first scenes where her Mom is on the mend (after her exorcism) from her crazy “I was possessed by the demon” state. Her Mom even goes as far as saying “she always knew how to make hoecakes, but the demon wouldn’t let her”. Tara makes a comment “you made these in bacon grease” while you can see her clearly eating one of the hoecakes. The 10 second video below is Tara trying one of her Mom’s hoecakes.

 

After seeing this scene I was very intrigued with what hoecakes were, so I did some research on them. After reading a recipe on how to make them I thought they sounded absolutely scrumptious and deadly! I’m not a big fan of cornmeal, so I decided to make a Canadianized version of hoecakes. I made traditional Canadian pancakes and fried them in bacon grease on a skillet. OMG, it’s like heaven in your  mouth! I get my bacon from my local butcher and he has some of the BEST bacon around. His bacon truly makes this recipe to-die-for. I have provided my recipe below.

1 lb bacon

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Fry the bacon to your liking (alternatively you can bake your bacon in the oven too)
  2. Pour the excess bacon grease into a bowl with a pour spout
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
  4. In a small bowl, mix together the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla extract
  5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients; mix until the mixture has small lumps in it, but do not mix too much
  6. Heat a griddle over medium heat
  7. Pour some excess bacon grease onto griddle
  8. Scoop pancake mixture onto griddle; about 1/4 cup for each pancake
  9. Once mixture starts to bubble check underside to see if golden brown and flip over
  10. Serve with maple syrup

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I have provided a picture of Lettie Mae’s Holy Hoecakes (it might be hard to see, so I’ve provided a link to a bigger version) from the the True Blood recipe book. I have to get my hands on this recipe book. I love me some Southern Cooking.

True Blood Recipe Book (go to page. 86)

True Blood Recipe Book

Lettie Mae's Holy Hoecakes

I have also heard that the famous Southern cook, Paula Deen, also has a terrific hoecakes recipe.

Paula Deen’s Hoecakes

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3 Responses to “Southern Hoecakes”

  1. Truly Scrumptious January 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    I should not have looked at this post just before lunch. The Demon wants me to make Hoe Cakes now. And me with no bacon in the house! Maybe I’ll get The-Man-With-Whom-I-Keep-Company to bring home the bacon. I love cornmeal, so I will make them that way. It is not a surprise that Paula Deen has a recipe for this!

  2. 365daysofbacon January 29, 2013 at 10:56 am #

    yep, EVERYTHING is better with bacon or bacon grease. great post!

  3. The Erratic Cook February 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    Hmmm bacon grease. Yes I have heard things taste better drenched in this substance. However, I feel the need to drain and toss every drop. Maybe I will get over my grease phobia long enough to try this…..

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