Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Grillades and Grits

Sorry, no picture of this, I devoured the last batch I made before it could be photographed!

Grillades and Grits is sort of Southern, and what I mean by that, is that it's originally from Louisiana. It's very much a dish that combines southern food and french food. If anyone out there has had Beef Bourguinon, this is sort of like a spicy version of that, and served over those heavenly grits. It's great comfort food. Some people like mushrooms in with their grillades, but I think it takes away from the beef. Add 'em if you want 'em.

Grillades and Grits

1 pound of beef stew meat or chuck roast, trimmed and cubed
2/3 cup flour (for dredging)
1 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
Cayenne pepper to taste (I like to use McCormick's Chipotle Chile powder, about 1/2 tsp)

1/4 cup of olive oil plus 1 tbsp.
1 large onion chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 cup of shredded carrots
1 tsp. salt
2 garlic cloves minced

For your roux:
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour

For the sauce/stew
2 cups of beef stock (you can buy this in the grocery store)
1 cup of red wine (Merlot, burgundy, syrah are all good)
2 cans diced tomatoes with chiles (or if you've got a weak stomach, without)
6 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp. dried)
3 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. of brown sugar

1 batch of Basic Grits (from the last post)

Mix flour and seasonings together in a shallow bowl, or a pie plate. While you dredge the meat in the flour, heat the oil in a heavy pot, or a dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the floured meat in batches, and remove to a bowl. Add in the onion, bell pepper and carrots, sprinkle with salt and saute until soft. Remove from the pot and add it to the bowl with the beef. Lower the heat to medium.

Now for the roux: melt the butter in the same pot, and whisk in the flour until you have a soft paste. Keep stirring until it turns a light brown and begins to loosen a bit. Toss in your garlic, and mix it in. Slowly pour in the beef stock while stirring so you don't get nasty lumps. Add in your wine, and tomatoes (juice and all), and then add back in the beef and veggie mixture. Add in your seasoning, but save a few sprigs of thyme and the sugar for a bit later. Now, lower the heat and simmer all of this yummy goodness together, stirring every now and then to prevent it from sticking to the pot. I try to let this simmer for about 40 minutes, because it gets the meat nice and tender. An hour is even better. Stir in the sugar with about 20 minutes left in the cooking time.

Once it's simmered, taste for seasoning. You may need to add a bit of salt or pepper to taste. To serve, put about half a cup of buttered grits on a plate or in a bowl, and then ladle the grillades over. I garnish with a bit of fresh thyme. Enjoy it with some warm, crusty French bread, and a glass of red wine.

As always, experiment with the seasonings until you find what you like.

Next post, a twist on a coastal southern favourite: Shrimp and Grits.

Bon appetit, y'all!


Saphyre Rose said...

I'd be honored to have a link on your that I found it, I will add yours to mine.
Love Grits.

DaydreamSupercollider said...

Can you buy grits in Canada? I'm gonna look the next time I shop - either I'm not noticing them or they're well hidden. But I'm determined to try it out after all this grit talk...and a great looking recipe you just shared.

Jen said...

A friend of mine who lives in Whitby says she's seen them at Loblaws. If your local grocery has 'em, you'll find them in the aisle with the oatmeal and other cereals. I'm glad you liked the recipe! In my family (and my husband's) food is often equated with love. I've seen a few different versions of grillades, and this is my take. The carrots are mostly to get my husband to eat vegetables. Either I grill veggies, or I hide them!

Flutterbot said...

ok I LOVE grits. I grew up on cream of wheat which I adore and to be honest I can't tell the difference between that and grits. Is it the same?


Jen said...


My mom tried to get me to eat cream of wheat when I was a kid (my Dad loved it), and it was always like paste. I think the texture is different, and of course cream of wheat is made of...well, wheat. Grits are made of dried white corn. Old fashioned grits are dried hominy, which is white corn treated with an alkali, usually wood-ash lye.

Thanks for stopping by!