Grillades is the breakfast dish you make at night. Wake up, put the pot on to warm and start making the grits. In less time than it takes for people to stumble into the kitchen you will have prepared a delicious, complex and filling meal that will keep family and/or guests full for hours.
Although a classic brunch dish usually eaten out, it can be a lifesaver on holidays when you have lots of people but need something to feed the masses which can be served stoveside.
Cooking the meat
To start you must flour and saute the meat in batches like this: And note that you can also slice it into strips as I did before adding it to the gravy.
The meat can be beef, veal or pork but since it is a low and slow cooking dish I would opt for the cheaper cuts of beef or pork as veal’s delicate flavor would be really swallowed up in the sauce, or should I say gravy….and we know how southerners like their gravy. After you have browned all the meat set it aside and add the vegetables to the pot:
Cook for a few minutes until softened then add the beef broth. Stir well and to enhance the gravy I make a paste of the dredging flour and some balsamic vinegar like this:
Once everything is well mixed lay the meat into the gravy making sure it is covered then put the top on and cook until the meat is fork-tender. When it’s done you can either serve or refrigerate for the next day.
Grits – buying the right stuff
The other critical component is the grits. Grits are simple as long as you follow a few simple rules. They should be stone ground, stirred well, and salted & peppered thoroughly…and fresh pepper too. The liquid can be water but for really delicious grits I use chicken broth and heavy cream. The heavy cream suggestion came from the owner of the Refuel Café on Hampson Street. He has the best grits in town and that’s why.
And even though the grillades are swimming in gravy, don’t forget to add some butter to the grits (as seen below, pooling around the edges). Eat this for a late breakfast and it’ll last you to mid-afternoon. Happily!
- For the Meat Sauce:
- 2 lbs beef round
- 1 cup flour
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil (or rendered bacon fat)
- 1 cup onion, diced
- ½ cup green bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup red bell pepper, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 tsp. ground fennel
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp. ground
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 10 oz. can of beef consume
- 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of the dredging flour
- 1 tablespoon of red balsamic (or wine) vinegar
- For the grits:
- 2 cups grits
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt and fresh black pepper to taste
- For the grillades:
- Pound out meat until about ¼ inch thick, then dredge in flour.
- Heat to medium a large pan and pour in oil.
- Place in pan to brown on each side. Prepare in batches and set aside.
- Add onion, green & red bell pepper, garlic and celery and saute for 5 minutes or until softened.
- Add beef consume, diced tomatoes, fennel, thyme, paprika and bay leaves and give it a good stir.
- Take the flour from dreadging & enough wine vinegar to make a thick paste then stir into sauce slowly to thicken.
- Lay in the meat & make sure it's submerged in the sauce. Cover & cook on low for 2 hours or in the oven at 225 for the same amount of time. If you cook on the stove top check to make sure the bottom isn't burning.
- For the grits:
- Combine all ingredients, cook over a medium flame and stir continuously until done.