Grillades and Grits (Smoked Gouda Grits)


Grillades and Smoked Gouda Grits

Grillades and Grits

According to the turn of the century cookbook, The Picayune Creole Cook Book, a grillade (pronounced “gree-yahd”) is a square of fried meat cooked down with onions, tomatoes, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper.  The cookbook indicates that plain and breaded (“Grillades Panées”) versions of this “fried meat” were served primarily as hearty breakfast items alongside things like cracked wheat, apple fritters and café au lait.  Among the poorer classes of Creoles, grillades were also served at dinner “with gravy” (“Grillades à la Sauce”) and a “dish of red beans and boiled rice.”  At some point between then and now, grits entered the picture, the gravy version of grillades took hold and another New Orleans food tradition was born.  This one, Grillades and Grits, has become a New Orleans brunch staple.  And after a night out on the town (or not), there’s nothing better than cozying up to a big bowl of warm, creamy (and in my case cheesy) grits heavily sauced with tender bits of round steak swimming in a rich Creole gravy.

If you want to honor grillades’ humble beginnings, always make it with either veal or beef round steak.  You can use a better cut of meat, but why?  The round steak will turn out tender and juicy so long as you pound it thin, cut it into bite-size pieces and simmer it in the gravy low and slow.  Although the traditional cut for grillades is square, I prefer to cut the meat into strips.  I slice my onions and bell peppers the same way so everything fits snuggly on a fork.  And like many slow cooked dishes, this one benefits greatly from sitting.  So if you can, make it the day before you plan on serving it.

Grillades and Grits (Smoked Gouda Grits) Recipe

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Seasoning Mix
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 pounds veal or beef round steak
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 large green bell pepper, sliced
1 small celery stalk, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with juice
2 cups beef stock (or beef broth enriched with 2 teaspoons beef base)
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins (Worcestershire sauce)
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Smoked Gouda Grits for serving, see recipe

In a small bowl, thoroughly combine seasoning mix; set aside.  Trim round steak of fat, pound thin and cut into 1×3-inch strips (set aside any bone for sauce). Season with 2 teaspoons seasoning mix.  In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat.  Working in batches, brown meat evenly on all sides; transfer browned meat to a plate (do not drain on paper towels).  Once all the meat is browned, add reserved 1/4 cup oil to pot.  When the oil begins to smoke, add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until a milk chocolate roux is achieved.  Add the onions, bell pepper celery and garlic; cook, whisking constantly, until tender, 3-5 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes, beef stock, reserved meat bone (if any) Lea & Perrins, reserved seasoning mix and bay leaves.  Return meat  and all drippings to pot; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 2 hours.  When done, stir in parsley and serve warm over Smoked Gouda Grits.  Makes 6-8 servings.

Smoked Gouda Grits Recipe

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2 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup yellow or white quick-cooking grits (not instant)
1 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring chicken stock and heavy cream to a boil.  Vigorously whisk in grits.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 5-8 minutes.  Stir in butter, grated smoked Gouda and cream cheese; cook until cheese is melted.  Season with salt and pepper; adjust to taste.  Reduce heat to low and cover until ready to serve.  Makes 6-8 servings.


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3 Responses
  1. Bobbi says:

    Oh. my. word. Smoked Gouda grits. I have to try this! I’m quirky about grits…since I wasn’t born in the south, the texture isn’t natural to me (I was raised on oatmeal)…but I can handle them in grits & Grillades with no issues, and I do enjoy some good cheesy grits.

  2. I absolutely LOVE Gouda. What a great idea – I’ve been in a creole mood lately thanks to you!!

  3. Susan says:

    Ouuu, la, la…that is some good eating!!!

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