Grillades

IMG_1387

Confession: I’m a little obsessed with Tabasco products right now.

Will and I made an escape last week to Lake Charles.  It’s a favorite quick getaway for us, typically involving a little gambling, floating a lazy river and a visit to our favorite restaurant.  This time, we also included a jog over to Avery Island to tour the Tabasco Visitor Center and Factory.  I’d never been and it had been quite some time since Will had visited.  It also just happens to be the 150th anniversary of the brand!

IMG_1307

We started in the museum and then wandered through five different buildings on the self-guided tour, learning all about how Tabasco products are made and distributed.  Did you know that the peppers picked when the match the exact color red of the  ‘le petite baton rouge’ and then aged in white oak barrels for up to three years?

After the tour, we had lunch at Restaurant 1868 and toured the neighboring Jungle Gardens. If you have never visited Avery Island and the opportunity presents itself, check it out!

We most definitely hit up the gift shop after all the touring and I snagged a copy of the Tabasco cookbook (cookbooks, in my humble opinion, often make the best souvenirs). As we flipped through the recipes, knowing something Tabasco was in our foodie future, one recipe really caught our eyes.  Grillades.

Grillades (get your Cajun on and pronounce it “gree-yahds”) is a traditional Creole breakfast specialty of thin-sliced veal or beef braised in a tomato-based gravy until fork-tender and served with grits or spoonbread. Historically,  the dish is made, refrigerated overnight, then reheated and served the next day.  However, there’s no definitive history of the dish, no distinct origin or starting point.  The word sounds French, but there is not really a literal translation of the dish.  Regardless, grillades and grits continue to be a tradition at many a Sunday brunch in Louisiana.

So we tweak the recipe just a little by using cubes of chuck roast, swapping the typical green bell pepper for Hatch peppers and upping the amount of Tabasco just a bit.

Because, you know, Tabasco is my life right now 🙂


Grillades

  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 T vegetable oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups chopped poblano/hatch peppers (about 4 Hatch, 2-3 poblanos)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp Tabasco
  • 3 T fresh chopped parsley

Season the chuck roast cubes with salt and pepper.  Because this was a post-trip cook for us, we used Avery Island salt, freshly ground black pepper and the Tabasco pepper pulp to season the beef.  The pulp is really interesting – it’s what is left behind after the peppers and salt come out of the aging barrel, is mixed with vinegar and pressed.  It has the spice of the pepper and a hit of the vinegar that makes it Tabasco sauce.

IMG_1334

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot, heat about 2 tablespoons of the veggie oil.  Work in batches so that you don’t crowd the pot and sear the meat on all sides.  As it is browned, remove the beef from the pot and set aside.

When the beef is browned, add the remaining veggie oil and the flour to the pot.  Stir the flour over medium heat for about 30 minutes to make a dark brown roux.  The last roux we made was for the Etouffee and we stopped that one at a “peanut butter color”.  This one goes further – to a nice, dark, chocolate brown.

Add the onion, the peppers and garlic. Cook for about five minutes, stirring often, until the veggies are soft.

IMG_1342

So, I know that in Creole cooking “the trinity” involves green peppers.  But… it’s Hatch pepper season and we had some at home, so why not use them? Just a heads up, they do provide a little extra heat to the grillades.

Add the tomatoes and thyme.  Cook for another three minutes or so, stirring often.

IMG_1343

Add the beef broth and red wine (you know the cooking-with-wine rule by now, yes?).  Stir well for several minutes, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

IMG_1344

Return the meat to the pot and stir in the salt, bay leaf, Worcestershire and Tabasco.

IMG_1346

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for an hour and a half.  Stir occasionally, until the meat is very tender.  Trust me, the time spent on this dish is worth it!

Remove the bay leaf and stir in the parsley, reserving some for garnish.

IMG_1384

So this is where you would typically let the dish cool, then store it in the fridge overnight.  We completely ignored that and served the grillades up with cheese grits.

Remember the Grits and Greens Casserole from a while back?  This would also be amazing here!

IMG_1389

Will and I plated a little differently… but both completely enjoyed this food souvenir. What’s one of yours?


Full Recipe

Grillades

  • 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 T vegetable oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 ½ cups chopped poblano/hatch peppers (about 4 Hatch, 2-3 poblanos)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ cup beef broth
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ tsp Tabasco
  • 3 T fresh chopped parsley

Season the beef with salt and pepper.

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 2 T of the oil.

Working in batches, add the meat and brown well, removing each batch to a warm plate.

Add the remaining 2 T oil and the flour to the pot.

Stir over medium heat for about 30 minutes to make a dark brown roux.

Add the onion, Hatch/poblano peppers and garlic.

Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until soft.

Add the tomatoes and thyme and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.

Add the broth and the wine.

Stir well for several minutes, scraping up any bits form the bottom of the pot.

Return the meat to the pot and stir in the salt, bay leaf, Worcestershire and Tabasco.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove the bay leaf.

Stir in the parsley, reserving some for garnish.

Serve with grits right away -or- let cool, refrigerate overnight and reheat to serve with grits the next day.

Grits and Greens Casserole

IMG_9913

I’m not going to lie… I have categorized this as a side dish but have totally eaten this for my dinner.  Like, last night.  Also, I’ve may have made a pot of greens solely for the purpose of putting them in this dish. It’s just so good!

Greens are amazing as leftovers.  The flavors just keep developing.  However, sometimes you need a little pep in that leftover step, right? This casserole is a great option for leftover greens.  It’s pretty simple to put together and bakes into a lovely side for a whole new dinner. I’ve even made this for our Bunco group as it is pretty easy to put together and have ready-to-go for a crowd. If you kept your greens meat-free you can easily use veggie stock in the grits to keep this casserole vegetarian as well.  As a bonus, this dish freezes well and travels nicely for potlucks, housewarmings and the like.

What are some of your favorite “reuse recipes”?


Grits and Greens Casserole

  • 1-2 c cooked greens, drained from the pot liquor
  • 1 cup uncooked instant yellow grits
  • 4 cups vegetable/chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups grated white melting cheese, such as Gouda or mozzarella
  • 3 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium pot, bring the chicken or veggie stock up to a boil.  Whisk the grits in slowly so that they do not clump.  Full disclosure:  I’ve not listened to my own advice here and managed to get some gritty clumps.  Don’t you just love an immersion blender in these moments though? 😉

Stir the grits until thickened and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the grits into a large bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

IMG_9892

Add the cooked greens and saute to remove any excess water, about 2-3 minutes.

To the cooked grits, stir in the heavy cream, sour cream, greens and half of the cheese.

At this point, before adding the eggs, taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning as you like.  This is a great point for a few shakes of Tabasco if you’re into that 🙂

Stir in the beaten eggs.  If your grits mixture is still fairly warm, be sure to stir them up quickly so that you don’t end up scrambling the eggs before they are incorporated.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish.

Top with the remaining cheese and bake until the center is just set and the top is golden brown, 40-45 minutes.

Let the casserole rest a few minutes before serving.

IMG_9910

Mmm… make this soon!  You’ll thank me!


Full Recipe

Grits and Greens Casserole

  • 1-2 c cooked greens, drained from the pot liquor
  • 1 cup uncooked instant yellow grits
  • 4 cups vegetable/chicken stock
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups grated white melting cheese, such as Gouda or mozzarella
  • 3 large eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring stock up to a boil; whisk in grits slowly so they do not clump.

Stir until thickened; season with s&p.

Remove from heat.

Heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the shallots and garlic and saute until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add the cooked greens. Saute to remove excess water, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the cooked grits in a large bowl.

Stir in the heavy cream, greens, sour cream and half of the cheese.

Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Stir in the eggs and pour into a baking dish.

Top with the remaining cheese and bake until the center is just set and the top is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Let rest a few minutes before serving.