Creole Beef Grillades and Grits

Deep in the heart of French Louisiana, Creole Beef Grillades and Grits are served for breakfast, brunch or lunch. The dish is pure comfort food! Thin cuts of pan fried, seasoned beef is served with rich tomato gravy over creamy stone ground grits. There are as many versions of grillades and grits as there are families in the region. This is an easy slow cooker version that has a rich tomato gravy and tender beef. It is full of flavor. 

People often ask me how I get grits to have such a creamy texture. Grits are made of dried, ground corn. Soaking rehydrates and plumps them.  I soak grits overnight in the liquid and salt they will be cooked in. The next day I take the saucepan from the refrigerator directly to the stove. How easy is that? 

Slow Cooker Creole Beef Grillades and Grits

2 1/2 pounds Boneless Beef Chuck Blade Steak, cut against the grain in 1/2-inch wide X 3-inch long strips
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons creole seasoning, divided (I use Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup diced celery, 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion, 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup diced green pepper, 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup diced carrot, 1/2-inch dice
1 tablespoon minced garlic (I use minced garlic from a jar)
1 (14.5 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
1 (10.5 ounce) can beef broth (I use Campbell’s brand)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
2 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
Garnish: Chopped Flat leaf parsley, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce
Serve on Creamy Grits (recipe below)

Add flour and 1/2 tablespoon creole seasoning to a lunch size paper bag. Close bag and shake to combine. Add 1/3 of beef strips to bag, close bag and shake to dredge meat in seasoned flour. Remove beef strips from bag and place on a plate. Repeat process with remaining beef strips; dredging 1/3 of strips at a time. Set aside. 

Heat 1 tablespoon oil, over medium high heat, in a large skillet until hot. Add 1/2 of beef strips to skillet. (Work in batches to not overcrowd pan; if pan is too crowded the beef will steam instead of browning.) Cook until brown on both sides; about 2 minutes per side. Transfer beef to a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker leaving any remaining oil in pan. Turn slow cooker on; choose high heat. Cover with lid. Add second tablespoon oil to skillet and repeat process with remaining beef strips. Cover slow cooker with lid.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add celery, onion, green pepper, and carrot. Sauté vegetables, stirring occasionally over medium high heat, until onion is translucent- about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Pour mixture in slow cooker.

Add tomatoes, beef broth, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon creole seasoning, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover with lid. Set timer for 4 hours on high heat. Serve over a bed of creamy grits (Recipe below). Garnish with parsley, freshly ground black pepper and hot sauce. Tip: For a spicier version of this dish add an additional 1/2 tablespoon creole seasoning to flour. Makes 6-8 servings.

Creamy Grits

1 cup stone ground grits
2 cups water
2 1/2 cups 2 % milk
1 teaspoon iodized salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced

For creamy grits, soak grits overnight in the saucepan you will cook them in. This will rehydrate the dried, ground, corn grits are made of. Place grits, water, milk and salt in saucepan. Stir. Cover with lid. Place pan in refrigerator overnight or up to 24 hours. 

Remove saucepan from refrigerator and set lid aside. Cook grits, uncovered, over medium high heat. Stirring constantly, bring grits to a boil. Reduce heat to low, set timer, and cook grits 30 minutes. Stir occasionally, making sure grits don’t stick to bottom of pan. Add additional water if grits get too thick before cooking time is complete. Add butter during the last 5 minutes. Stir until butter melts and is completely incorporated into grits. Makes 6 servings. Enjoy! 

Published in the News and Neighbor on March 17, 2021.

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