Monday, May 9, 2016

Grits & Grillades (Chef John Folse Recipe)

I used to really enjoy working at Martin's on Sundays...and not just because my friend & I used to occasionally sneak mimosas (shhh....).  Sundays meant Sunday brunch, and we often got to taste test the daily specials.  One of my favorites was grits and grillades.  Now..that's saying something, because I generally do NOT like grits.  I'm a total texture person--I don't do tapioca, or cream of wheat, and grits are well...GRITTY!  But then the great people of southern Louisiana introduced me to CHEESY GRITS.  And BACON-Y GRITS.  Y'all.  You add cheese and bacon to things and I'm there.  

So...grits and grillades.  What exactly are grillades, you ask? It's essentially a meat stew, using thin medallions of beef, pork or veal, braised to be fork tender and falling apart.  The meat is stewed with the Holy Trinity (bell pepper, onions, celery) along with garlic, tomatoes and spices, which thickens up to a delicious "red gravy" as it's called south of I-10.  Nowadays, it's a common Sunday Brunch staple.
This recipe is adapted from Chef John Folse's version.  Originally, I wanted to do a slow cooker version (and probably will eventually), but due to lack of foresight, my round steaks were still frozen when I was prepping I did the Dutch oven version instead so that the steaks could thaw while I was at work. :)

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4-6 servings)
  • 2 medium-size round steaks (about 2 lbs)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup bacon drippings
  • 1 cup onions, finely diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper, finely diced
  • (1) 14 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup green onions, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • More Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch slurry (optional)
  • 2-3 cups cooked grits (traditional or quick, your choice)
  • 1 cup smoked gouda, grated
Cut the round steaks into 3 inch medallions.  In a quart sized bag, combine the flour and Cajun seasoning, then add the steak and shake to coat.

In a dutch oven, heat the bacon grease over medium heat and saute the medallions until browned on both sides.  Add the onions, bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, green onions and garlic.  Cook for 5-7 minutes, then add the beef broth.  Bring to a low boil, then drop the temp to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Next, uncover the pot, add the mushrooms and parsley and cook for 10 additional minutes.  If you like yours a little thicker, add the cornstarch slurry during this time.

Meanwhile, you should be cooking your grits.  Once at the thickness you like (NOTE: I like my grits a bit thicker...and yet, I can NEVER seem to get them to thicken up the way I want.  I am forever cursed to make runny grits.  Thankfully, adding cheese can be very forgiving), add the gouda and mix until melted.  

Serve the grillades over the grits and devour.  For the record, this dish is generally better the first night.  We had a lot of leftovers, and while they TASTE great, the textures get a little weird once refrigerated.  Just FYI. 

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