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Grits and Grillades Recipe

Today I’ve got a very special treat for you. It’s been quite a few days since I’ve shared a recipe with you, so I’m coming back strong with a real good one! The recipe is a Grits and Grillades recipe. This dish is very popular in New Orleans – served at many restaurants and a favorite of many people here. It’s a rich red sauce smothering browned roast that’s all served over creamy stone-ground grits. What’s not to love here?

Grits and Grillades Recipe

Some of you may not know what I’m even talking about when I say “Grits and Grillades.” Many probably know what grits are – stone ground corn that’s cooked into a creamy dish similar to polenta. Grillades are simply small, short cuts of a roast (pork, beef or veal, usually) that are dredged in flour, browned and then simmered in sauce until tender.

Grits and Grillades Recipe

Below you can see the grillades I used. They were pork (my preference for grillades), and I actually bought them pre-seasoned from Poche’s Meat Market in Breaux Bridge, La. Most of you won’t be able to buy pre-seasoned grillades at your local grocer (I’m sorry for you) so the recipe below takes into account that you will be using unseasoned pork to start with. We have all kinds of tasty and special meat products here in South Louisiana. One of the perks of living here!

Grillades from Poche's in Breaux Bridge, La.

Anyway, the most complicated (but not complicated) part about this recipe is getting the pork browned. That’s the genesis of the recipe, and once that’s done it’s fairly smooth sailing. This will involve touching raw meat and getting your hands a bit dirty so make sure you’ve got all your mise en place (prep work) done and ready to go before you start.

Below are the four steps in the browning process:

4 steps for browning grillades

  1. Start off with the grillades in a bowl and the flour on a plate. This is similar to the process for other types of breadings except that we’re only using flour here.
  2. Take 1-2 pieces of pork at a time and roll them around in the flour. Make sure each piece is thoroughly coated in flour. Shake off the excess then set it on a flat surface like a dinner plate.
  3. Here you can see the finished coated pork pieces. They’re all ready for the browning process, which is easy. It’s just taking heated oil and browning the pork on both sides. You’ll want to set this finished pork onto a new separate plate.
  4. This browned pork is now ready to be added to the tomato sauce. Simmering in the sauce will allow the meat to tenderize. The browned flour bits will also help thicken up the tomato sauce.

Now that the pork is done, it can be set aside. It’s now time to start on the tomato sauce. This tomato sauce is a delicious, basic Creole-style tomato sauce. It’s packed with onions,  bell pepper and garlic. I event threw in a chopped fresh tomato to provide more tomato-y flavor and additional texture. Below are the key ingredients for the tomato sauce.

Key Ingredients for Tomato Sauce

So now that we’ve got grillades and the tomato sauce covered, let’s move on to the base of the dish – the grits! Stone-ground grits take about an hour to cook so you’ll start those while the grillades are simmering. If you want to take a shortcut and use the quick grits, be my guest, but the final dish won’t be as good as if you’d taken the time to do stone-ground grits. They are most certainly worth the effort. Below you can see the raw grits and how rough they are. Quick grits are usually powdery. These grits are definitely….. well, gritty!! And they turn out oh so creamy (see right).

Stone Ground Grits - Before and After

Once the sauce and grits are done, it’s time to eat! As you can see below most of the water has been cooked out of the tomato sauce, and it’s thick, hearty sauce. It’s also packed with flavor and totally delicious! This is one of my favorite dishes and I hope it becomes one of yours.

Grits and Grillades Recipe

Ready to tackle a New Orleans classic? Yay! Let’s get to it!

Yield: 6-8 servings

Grits and Grillades Recipe

This grits and grillades recipe uses pork roast for the meat. Simmered in a tomato sauce and served over creamy stone ground grits, these grillades are sure to make your heart swoon!


Browning the Pork:

2 pounds pork roast, cut into 1"x2" pieces
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons canola oil

Tomato Sauce:

3 tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
1 green bell pepper, cored and chopped (about 1 cup)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tomato, cored and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2-28 ounce cans whole tomatoes, pureed
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons celery salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Stone Ground Grits:

4 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 cup coarse stone ground grits
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-8 ounce block monterey jack cheese, grated


Browning the Pork:
    1. Once the pork is cut, add the teaspoon of canola oil, kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well to coat meat with oil. Add a little more if it appears dry.
    2. Dredge pork pieces in the flour and set in a single layer or a plate or sheet pan.
    3. Heat the remaining three of the tablespoons of canola oil in a soup sized pot over medium high heat.
    4. Brown the pork, working in batches if needed. Time two minutes per side for each batch.
    5. Set pork aside on the same plate or sheet pan for now. Wipe the inside of the pot with a paper towel to remove floury bits.
Tomato Sauce:
    1. Over medium high heat, using the same soup-sized pot, heat the other three tablespoons of canola oil.
    2. Add the onions, green bell pepper, kosher salt and cayenne pepper. Sweat the onions and bell pepper for about 10 minutes, until both are softened and onions are translucent.
    3. Add the tomato and garlic and cook for two more minutes until garlic is fragrant and tomatoes start to give off a lot of water.
    4. Add the pureed tomatoes and spices. Cover the pot and allow the sauce to come up to a simmer. Stir often to make sure the sauce doesn't stick. If sauce starts to stick, lower the flame.
    5. Once the sauce is at a simmer, carefully stir in the pieces of browned pork. Re-cover the pot.
    6. Cook for 30 minutes covered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. After the 30 minutes, uncover the pot and continue to cook uncovered for 60 more minutes. Sauce will simmer for 90 minutes total.
    7. After uncovering the sauce, start on the grits in a separate pot.
Stone Ground Grits:
    1. Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a soup-sized pot (with a lid).
    2. Once boiling, add grits while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and cook at a low simmer, covered, stirring frequently, until water is absorbed and grits are thickened, about 15 minutes.
    3. Stir in 1/2 cup milk and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally to keep grits from sticking to bottom of pan, 10 minutes.
    4. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk and paprika. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and grits are thick and tender, about 35 minutes more.
    5. Once done, turn of heat and stir in the cheese. Cover until ready to use.
Plating the Final Dish:
    1. Ladle grits in the bottom of a bowl. Cover with the tomato sauce containing the grillades.
    2. Serve immediately.

Prep:30 minutes

Cook:2 hours

Total:2 hours, 30 minutes

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