For the cornbread: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Mix the cornmeal mix, buttermilk (a little at a time), flour, egg and baking soda in a bowl. Heat a cast-iron skillet, add the bacon grease and once the grease is hot, transfer 2 tablespoons of the grease from the skillet to the cornbread mixture. Mix the grease into the cornbread mixture and pour the cornbread mixture into the sizzling hot skillet. Bake until you can't see a finger print in the top of the bread when you lightly press it, about 20 minutes. Cool, cube into 8 cups, and toast.
For the dressing: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. To cook the rice, combine 2 cups of the stock, 2 cups water and rice in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 1 hour. Drain the rice and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and let brown slightly in a large pan. Add the corn, onions, celery, red peppers, garlic and a pinch salt and sweat the vegetables until tender. Add the ham and pine nuts and cook over low heat, about 2 minutes. Set aside to slightly cool.
Whisk together the remaining 3 cups stock, cream, parsley and eggs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine the rice, vegetable/ham mixture, stock/cream mixture and Sherla's Cornbread in a 4-quart lasagna pan and cook, covered, about 30 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook until crusty, about 20 minutes.
This recipe works best if made ahead of time. Add the ingredients to the lasagna pan but wait to cook until after refrigerating overnight to let the custard soak in.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Symon and Sherla Sanderson