Texans have their chili and Louisianans have grillades, a beefy Southern stew. This recipe, which is a favorite of Jamie, comes from a family friend named Hank Groover, who is a parish priest in New Orleans (we used to call him “Uncle Father”).
3 pounds beef round roast, cut into
1 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 stalks celery, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1 jalapeno chile pepper, seeded (if desired) and finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
1 clove garlic, minced
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
3 large tomatoes, cored and finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons bottled hot pepper sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 bay leaves
7 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white grits, preferably stone ground
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the grillades, season meat with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. In a Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil and the butter over medium-high heat until sizzling. Brown the meat in batches. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the fat. Reduce heat to medium; add the celery, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic; cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons oil, then stir in the flour; cook 3 minutes or until pale golden. Slowly stir in the broth. Add beef, all the tomatoes, hot sauce, Worcestershire, basil, thyme, and bay leaves. Season with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Discard bay leaves. Cover and keep warm over low heat while you prepare the grits.
For the grits, in a large saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Stir in the grits; simmer about 15 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream and butter; season to taste with additional salt and the black pepper. Serve the hot grits topped with the grillades.
Servings: 6 to 8
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