Here is one of the uses for Beef Stock within Creole Cuisine that I mentioned; although most cooks probably use water in their recipe, I use Beef Stock in mine. Grillades (pronounced GREE-ahds) & Grits is a dish widely served for breakfast or brunch in South Louisiana. I enjoy this dish for a comfy Sunday evening meal. Here is some of what the Picayune’s Creole Cookbook of 1901 had to say about Grillades:
…The round of the meat is always selected for Grillades, and one steak will serve six persons. The steak is cut into pieces of about six or eight squares and each piece is called a Grillade.
…Grillades are a favorite dish among the poorer classes of Creoles, especially being served not only for breakfast, but also at dinner, in the latter instance with gravy and a dish of Red Beans and Boiled Rice.
A note about Grits. Up here in Yankee-land, Grits get no respect, my theory is that it has largely to do with the name. Polenta is similar and widely popular up here in Italian restaurants; but it also has a nice, soft name that rolls off of the tongue. People like to say Polenta. Grits sounds like a shotgun blast, and few up here will touch them. Oh well, their loss. I like the Old Fashioned Grits, which are the slower cooking variety, as opposed to the Quick or Instant Grits. They only take a short while longer to cook, and they finish with a better texture.
Grillades & Grits Recipe
2 lbs Round Steak
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
Â¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
Â½ Cup A.P. Flour
2 Tablespoons Creole Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
2 Medium Onions, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Ribs Celery, Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Cups Beef Stock
3 Tbsp Homemade Worcestershire Sauce
2 Cups Tomatoes, Chopped
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
1 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Crystal Hot Sauce to taste
2 Tbsp Dark Roux
1/8 cup Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Green Onions, thinly sliced on the bias
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Recipe of Grits made according to the Package Instructions
Pound the Round Steak on both sides to about Â½ inch thickness, then cut into 4 inch squares. Season the Grillades with the salt & cayenne pepper. Combine the flour and Creole Seasoning, dip the Grillades one at a time into the seasoned flour and shake off any excess. In a cast iron dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat until very hot, but not smoking. Brown the Grillades well on both sides without burning. Transfer the Grillades to a plate. Drain off the vegetable oil and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the Onions, Bell Pepper, Celery, and Garlic and, stirring frequently, cook until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Stir in the Beef Stock, Worcestershire, Tomatoes, and Bay Leaves; bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the Grillades and the accumulated juice from the plate back to the pot. Submerge the Grillades in the sauce and simmer for about 1 Â½ hours or until they are very tender. When the Grillades are tender remove them to a plate and bring the sauce to a boil. Add the Roux and stir until the sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the parsley, 1/4 cup of the green onions, red wine vinegar, hot sauce, and salt & pepper. Mound the Grits on 4 heated plates and divide the steaks on top of the Grits. Pour the sauce over the Grillades & Grits, top with the remaining Green Onions and serve immediately.
**Update – 3/26/2005** For another great recipe using Grits, check out my friend Caryn’s Gorgonzola Grit Cakes at Delicious! Delicious!. Her photos are so gorgeous I chipped a tooth on my monitor trying to take a bite out of one of these babies.