Salt Lick Cookbook: Jalapeno Cornbread Recipe

This jalapeno cornbread recipe is served at the Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, Texas, and has become a favorite for many of its patrons.


With summer on the horizon, barbecues will be sprouting up in back yards around the country. Sausage, jalapenos, and bacon grease make this jalapeno cornbread recipe a savory side dish for any barbecue.

Photo By Kenny Braun

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In Texas and throughout the South, a myriad of barbecue joints claim to have the “best barbecue,” and Salt Lick Barbecue in Driftwood, Texas is a definite contender. The Salt Lick Cookbook (University of Texas Press, 2012), by Scott Roberts and Jessica Dupuy, can show you the art of Texas barbecue. Scott Roberts, the owner of Salt Lick Barbecue, is building on the foundation of a business that was laid down by his family over 130 years ago. This excerpt, from chapter four, “Life on the Ranch,” walks you through this quick jalapeño cornbread recipe. 

Jalapeño cornbread recipe

1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup minced onions
1/2 pounds sausage, finely chopped
3 fresh jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 can (8 ounces) cream corn

2 tablespoons bacon grease

In skillet, melt butter over low heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add sausage and jalapeños, and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat, keep warm, reserve.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Mix well 5 dry ingredients. Whip together buttermilk and eggs. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, and mix well. Fold in sausage mixture and pan scrapings. Fold in creamed corn. Let rest while heating skillet and grease.

Place bacon grease in 9-inch cast-iron skillet, and heat in oven. When grease begins to smoke, remove skillet. Stir cornbread mixture, carefully pour into hot grease, return to oven, and bake for 30 minutes, or until top is brown and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean.

NOTE: “This isn’t in the recipe, but sometimes when Hisako was making this cornbread for us at home, she would render lard out of bacon and use the leftover cracklins in the cornbread batter. It’s a little extra work, but it’s worth it.”

Learn the history of Salt Lick Barbecue in Texas Barbecue: The Salt Lick Cookbook.  

This excerpt has been reprinted with the permission of The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family, and Love, By Scott Roberts and Jessica Dupuy, published by University of Texas Press, 2012.