Grillades (or Cajun Pork Chops) and Grits
Prep Time: About 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 1/2 hours
3 lbs pork (I used pre-cut pork chops) cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup flour
4 tbs bacon fat (or butter)
8 tbs. butter
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups beef broth or water
3 bay leaves
1 tbs dried thyme
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 can (10 oz.) diced petite tomatoes
4 large fresh tomatoes, diced
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 tsp salt
1 cup quick cooking grits
4 tbs butter
1/2 cups cheddar or gruyere cheese
1. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Toss with 1/2 cup flour lightly.
2. Heat bacon fat (or butter) and 4 tbs butter over medium heat in a dutch-oven or large sauce pan until very hot. Brown the meat, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook until softened, 8-10 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Leave about 3 tbs of fat/butter in pan.
4. Add 1/4 cup flour to make rue. Stir constantly and slowly until flour is brown, 5 minutes. Slowly add broth/water and stir. Bring to simmer. Return meat and vegetables to pan. Add bay leaves, thyme, spices, Worcestershire, basil, salt, pepper and stir. Add canned tomatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pork is tender, about 1 1/2 hrs.
5. Make grits while grillades simmer. Follow package instructions using milk instead of water. Add butter and cheese as grits come to correct consistency (similar to smooth cream of wheat).
6. As grillades finish, discard bay leaves. Stir in fresh tomatoes.
7. Ladle grits into bowls and top with grillades. If desired, place 1 1/2 tsps of butter between grits and grillades. Serve hot!
Recipe adapted from Paula Deen’s Southern Cooking Bible.
I absolutely LOVE this recipe. Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy ingredient list. It’s mostly spices that you probably have already. The important thing with this recipe is to brown the pork beforehand and to make some rich, buttery, cheesy grits. I was unsure what to think when attempting this but have not had a dish I was more proud of or as excited to eat. I decided to make it after going to a New Orleans-style restaurant and then discovering the recipe in the Paul Deen book. And I am so glad I did. Try it. It’s worth it. I promise.