Monday, August 22, 2011

Grillades and Grits

I know I mentioned this in my last post, but it is serious go-time with clearing out my freezer for the beef I will be picking up in about 2 weeks.  My freezer is certainly emptier than right after my shipment of beef last year (check it out here), but there is still too much meat in there.  Look!

Everything wrapped in white is pig, and I have been purposely avoiding eating the pork because the next pig doesn't arrive until about Christmas.  But something must be done.

The beef is down to cuts that are somewhat harder, for me at least, to cook with.  (Side note:  I hate, hate!, ending sentences with a preposition.  But I can't and don't feel like spending the time thinking of a way to write that sentence which avoids ending the sentence with a preposition.  So here we are.)  For example, beef round steak.  It's not a big chunk of meat; it is round cut into steaks.  The only things I know how to cook with such a cut are milanesas or chicken fried steak, and those are the exact same thing just named by an Argentine and a Texan, respectively.  

I turned to browsing my cookbooks.  I was so impressed by the New Orleans style brisket (here) I found in the aptly named The New Orleans Cookbook that I grabbed that cookbook first.  Lo and behold, a recipe using round of beef:  Grillades and Grits.  AND the recipe uses lard.  Remember the tub of lard I had to purchase for these tamales?  Well, it's been staring at me from my fridge ever since.  So grillades and grits it is.  Smiley.

1 1/4 to 1 3/4 lb. round of veal or beef
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 Tbsp lard (Erin note:  Um, I misread this as 1 1/2 CUP lard.  
     Yes, I made this meal with approximately 16 times the amount 
     of lard needed. Oops. I really did use 1.5 cups of lard. 
     Check out the picture.)
1 c. chopped onion
1 large ripe Creole tomato, chopped coarsely
2 1/2 to 3 cups cooked grits

Trim all the fat off the meat and remove any bones.  Cut into pieces about 2 inches square and pound out with a mallet to about 4 inches square.  Rub the salt, black pepper, cayenne, and garlic into the pieces of meat on both sides, then rub in the flour.

In a large heavy skillet or saute pan, melt the lard over medium heat and brown the grillades will on both sides.  Lower the heat and add the onion, tomato, and water.  Bring to a simmer, cover loosely, an cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, uncovering to turn the meat over every 10 minutes.   A rich brown gravy will form during cooking; if it appears too thick, add water a little bit at a time.

When the meat is cooked, remove it to a heated platter and place in a pre-heated 200F oven to keep warm.  Prepare the grits according to package directions.  Just before serving reheat the gravy in the skillet, then pour it over both the meat and the grits.

Sooo, my notes:

1.  I was so excited to make a joke about beating the meat.  I don't own a mallet, so after confirming with my mom that a hammer would do, I began "pounding out" the meat.  I giggled the entire time, thinking about how I was going to write about how fun it is to pound and/or beat meat.  And it IS!  But this was all ruined by...

2.  I used SIXTEEN times the amount of lard!  How did I not notice that the recipe said tablespoons, not cups?  And didn't it trigger something in my mind that 1.5 cups of lard is absurd?  I guess not.  I even took a picture of the lard beginning to warm in the dutch oven to say: look readers, this is what 1.5 cups of lard looks like!

Well, you 2 people who read my blog, in this case perhaps more is better because I didn't notice my mistake until I started writing this post, long after I polished off two plates of the stuff.  

This meal is truly delicious.  Who can complain about beef and grits smothered in gravy?  No one.  It's like a Salisbury steak, southern style.  Okay, I don't really know what Salisbury steak is except that on South Park Chef was (is he still?) always cooking it up, and it appeared to be some sort of beef and mashed potatoes with gravy.  Similar to grillades and grits?  I'd say so.  Maybe I should give Salisbury steak a try.

This whole post has gone completely off track since my discovery of the lard mistake.  I had what I was going to write planned out in my mind, and to see that I made such an error only now, while typing the recipe out, is disturbing.

Really though, friends, it tasted good.

Bon appetit.


  1. Oh Erin, I love you. The lard thing is totally something I would do. (And man, I guess you really wanted to use it up!) And I love your comment about prepositions. And I love your "beat the meat" giggles. And I love that the post went off track after the lard discovery.

  2. With a tub of lard staring at me every day from my fridge, you're damn right I have been itching to use some of it!

    And I love that you get a kick out of my blog. I really did have the whole post laid out in my mind, then typing out the recipe and making the discovery, I just couldn't write what I wanted to write!

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