One thing Americans – and New Orleanians in particular – do exceptionally well is brunch. Long, leisurely, mimosa/cocktail-fueled, this-is-my-only-plan-for-the-day brunch.
Say what you will about our excess and indulgence… in this case, I support it.
We have recently started hosting meals through EatWith – a website that allows you to share meals in people’s homes all over the world. It’s basically Airbnb for dining, and when we first moved to Barcelona, being a guest was a wonderful way to meet new people and eat delicious food. And since we pretty much already do this kind of thing on our own (two extroverts who really love food and parties), it made perfect sense for us to become EatWith hosts.
Last weekend, we hosted our first New Orleans brunch and made one of my all-time favorites: grits and grillades. I had never had grillades (or grits for that matter) until I moved to NOLA. It’s a slow-cooked meat dish – made with beef, veal or pork – in a thick, flavorful gravy, served over creamy, buttery grits. So a light, healthy breakfast.
It’s easy to make, but it does take a long time to cook, so I advise making it the day before. The flavors are even better the next day, and all you have to do is reheat it and make the grits before people come over (you’re going to want to have people over: it makes a ton). We made our own chicken and beef stock, but you can also use store-bought.
Get the recipe below!
We used these recipes as references:
- NOLA.com’s grillades
- John Besh’s slow-cooked veal grillades
- Emeril Lagasse’s beef grillades
- Alton Brown’s cheese grits
Grillades is a slow-cooked meat dish served over creamy grits, perfect for a New Orleans-style brunch.
- 4 pounds boneless beef steak (round steak or stew meat)
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 3 medium onions, diced
- 2 medium bell peppers, diced
- 5 ribs celery, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Vegetable oil
- 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
- 5 fresh tomatoes, blanched, peeled and cored (optional)
- Creole seasoning mix (We used some of Emeril's Essence and Tony Chachere's)
- 3 bay leaves
- Dried tarragon and basil
- Salt and pepper
- Creamy Grits
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- Trim the fat off the beef. On a floured surface, use a mallet or blunt utensil to pound to about 1/2 inch thickness.
- Cut beef into long strips or small squares. Salt generously and set aside on a plate.
- In a large, heavy pot, heat a generous layer of vegetable oil to medium-high. Season meat with Creole seasoning mix and pepper, then brown it in batches on all sides (a few minutes per side).
- Remove the meat and set aside. Add onions, bell peppers and celery to the drippings and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, beef stock and red wine, and bring to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir in bay leaves, tarragon and basil.
- Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender and falling apart (at least 2 hours).
- In the last 40 minutes of cook time, prepare the grits. Bring milk and water and salt to a boil over medium heat.
- Slowly pour in the cornmeal to the boiling liquid, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Turn the heat down to low and whisk continuously for the first 5 minutes.
- Cover the grits and whisk every few minutes. Turn off the heat after about 25-30 minutes and stir in butter and cream cheese, adding salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour a ladle of grillades over the grits, and serve with hot sauce.