Wash the okra, cut it into 1/2-inch rounds, and place it in a small brown paper bag or plastic bag. Add the cornmeal and salt and pepper and shake to coat the okra with the cornmeal and seasoning mixture. Heat the bacon fat in a large, heavy skillet. Drop in the okra pieces a few at a time and fry until golden brown, turning frequently so that they are browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
You can substitute olive oil or a low-cholesterol vegetable oil. The taste, while delicious, will not be authentically African-American.
Recipe courtesy of Jessica Harris, "The Welcome Table"