Cornbread goes down very well with various brunch offerings. Serve these muffins with some smoky paprika baked beans, bacon, creamy mushrooms or fried garlicky prawns.
They are best eaten on the day they are made. Paper muffin cases are a good idea here as the batter may stick; alternatively, liberally grease the muffin tin with butter.
6 slices of rindless streaky bacon, finely chopped
60g butter, plus extra for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
120g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
120g coarse polenta
½ tsp bread soda
salt and freshly ground black pepper
large pinch of chilli flakes or powder (or to taste)
150ml whole milk
100g sour cream or buttermilk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
100g Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
Preheat the oven to 200°C/190°C fan/gas mark 6. If not using paper muffin cases, grease a 12-hole muffin tin generously with butter and dust with flour.
Fry the bacon in the butter until starting to brown, then add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, polenta and bread soda with ½ tsp of salt, a good grind of black pepper and the chilli flakes, and make a well in the centre.
In a jug or bowl, beat the milk, sour cream and egg together, then mix in the bacon, onion and all of the fat. Pour into the dry ingredients along with the cheese and stir gently until just combined, but don’t overmix.
Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one of the muffins comes out clean.
Turn the muffins out on to a wire rack to cool slightly; these are best served warm.
Extracted from The Lazy Weekend Cookbook: Relaxed brunches, lunches, roasts and puddings by Matt Williamson (National Trust Books, approx €23). Photograph by Jill Mead.