Mieliepap Recipe

This a pretty dressed up version of the South African classic. Some call this a cornbread but a baked pudding or porridge is really what it is. Save for the cheddar cheese, this could easily be a classic southern American preparation. Check it out:

1 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup milk
2 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs lightly beaten
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped slab bacon

Begin by preheating your oven to 375. In a saucepan combine the cornmeal, milk, buttermilk, butter, sugar, honey and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until the mixture is quite thick. Allow it to cool. Meanwhile place the bacon in a small fry pan and cook to render the fat and crisp it lightly.

In large bowl combine the eggs, soda, half the bacon and half the cheese. Add in the cooled cornmeal mixture and stir to combine. Pour into a lightly buttered 8″ x 8″ pan. Bake for 20 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and bacon. Bake another 10-15 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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9 Responses to Mieliepap Recipe

  1. Bronwyn says:

    Sounds like the love child of Gnocchi alla Romana and polenta!

  2. NancyB says:

    Save for the cheddar cheese, this could easily be a classic southern American preparation.

    …and for the sugar and honey. Classic southern American cornbread does not contain sweetening of any sort, at least in my part of the South. Not even a teaspoonful.

    • joepastry says:

      Ha! So true…most true Southerners believe that Rome fell when they started adding sweeteners to their corn bread. NOt that they actually had any then. But the point is well taken. Thanks Nancy B!

      - Joe

  3. Tom says:

    I wonder why you use melted butter. It would melt anyway… but I am sure there’s a specific reason why you do it. Tell, Mr. Pastry, tell.

    • joepastry says:

      You know, if you’re going to bring the mixture to a simmer there’s no good reason to use melted butter. A quirk of this recipe that I shall now correct. Thanks, Tom!

      - Joe

  4. Suze Parker says:

    no sugar in corn bread? I’m a damn Yankee (one that came and stayed) and I’m married to a southerner. His Aunt Mae (lives outside Monroe, Louisianna) puts sugar in her corn bread and so did his mama. He was raised in Biloxi, Mississippi. He calls corn bread without sugar “northern” corn bread.

    I guess it’s like anything “authentic”. Each family does their own thing.

    Nonetheless, I think the mieliepap is going to be on my Thanksgiving table with an artisan ham brined & smoked by a dear friend. Yum.

    • joepastry says:

      Wow does that sound good. Can I come?

      It’s funny, I’ve found that in this part of the South (Kentucky, Tennessee, etc.) people think sweetened corn bread is the northern version. I remember when I first came to Louisville I made some corn muffins for friends. The husband remarked after dinner that he’d never eaten corn bread with sugar in it, but that he could see himself getting used to my Yankee ways. As you’ve probably experienced, people here describe as “Yankee” pretty much anything they find odd or disagreeable. I just remind them who won the war!

      - Joe

  5. Denise says:

    Hi – I came to look at your pastry recipes after I saw one for Opera Cake recommended and was shocked to spy mieliepap in the index! I keep kosher so won’t be making this version but you reminded me I have to use mine up. Are/were you S. African?

    • joepastry says:

      Hey Denise!

      Thanks for the question! I’m not South African, but I have a fair umber of readers from there and one of them once suggested I make it. I’m always up for trying something I’ve never heard of!

      It was really good, actually.

      - Joe

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