Grillades (pronounced GREE-yahds) and grits are a favorite in our house. They’re a traditional Creole dish popular for brunch in Southern Louisiana.
Creole cuisine doesn’t have as much influence in Texas as Cajun cuisine does, but this has always been a favorite in our house. We like the inclusion of beef rather than shrimp. We also typically serve it for dinner rather than brunch.
In Louisiana, the grillades can be beef, pork, or veal, but being a Texan, beef is what I use. Many recipes also call for red wine. I prefer to leave it out to not interfere with the other flavors.
Although grillades and grits might seem similar to the Cajun-style shrimp and grits recipe you’ll find on this website, the addition of tomatoes dramatically changes the base flavor. Even with the beef, it tastes lighter and brighter than my shrimp and grits.
Stone-Ground Grits Taste Better
It’s essential to understand that to make a good bowl of grits, you have to start with good grits.
Stone-ground grits may be more expensive than instant grits, but they’re creamier and more flavorful.
Cheap grits are generally old, and ground with a high-speed milling process generates a lot of heat. As a result, it destroys the sweetness and natural taste of the corn.
Grinding the grits slowly with a stone wheel keeps them cool throughout the process and preserves the flavor.
We use Palmetto Farms Fine Ground Grits. They’re much higher quality than I’ve been able to find at my local grocery store.
Additionally, I store unused grits in my freezer to help maintain their freshness.
Grillades and Grits
For the Grillades
- 1 1/2 lb. top round steaks - 1/2-inch thick and cut into small, 3-inch diameter steaks
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup beef tallow - or substitute your cooking fat of choice
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion - finely chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper - finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks - finely chopped
- 1 bunch green onions - finely chopped – dark green parts reserved for garnish
- 6 cloves garlic - minced
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper - adjust according to your preference
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes - fire-roasted is better
- 3 cups beef stock - divided
Cooking Your Grillades
- If you bought a top round roast to cut into steaks, go ahead and cut them out 1/2-inch thick, then cut them into smaller 3-inch diameter steaks. Sprinkle both sides of each steak with a little Kosher salt and let sit for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the beef tallow in your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Dust the steaks lightly with flour, shaking off the excess. Brown the meat on both sides, then set aside (about 2 minutes on each side). You'll probably need to cook them in two batches to prevent crowding in the pot.
- Pour off all but 2 tbsp of the beef fat (if necessary). Add the 2 tbsp. butter, then add the yellow onions, celery, bell peppers, and green onions. Saute until they begin sticking to the bottom of the pot, then add 1/4 cup of beef stock, then continue stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula. About 5 minutes. Cook until all of the stock has evaporated, then deglaze with another 1/4 cup of stock. About 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaves, and saute for an additional minute.
- Add the diced tomatoes and the remaining 2 1/2 cups of beef stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Add the grillades back to the dutch oven. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until tender, stirring occasionally. About fifteen minutes before the hour is up, start cooking your grits (see below).
- Taste for salt and pepper, adjust, then increase the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Cooking Your Cheese Grits
- Bring the broth, milk, and salt to a low boil. Thoroughly whisk in the grits, then lower the heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, thoroughly whisking every 5 minutes. When whisking, work to make sure that any grits that have settled on the bottom are broken up and whisked back into the liquid.
- Stir in the cheese and keep warm until ready to serve.
- To serve, add a generous helping of grits to the bottom of a bowl, top with grillades and plenty of the gravy, then garnish with the reserved green onions.