True Grit

Grillades & Grits


Grillades & Grits are a great make-ahead for Christmas morning, and leftovers can be easily reheated for subsequent breakfasts.

You can find the following in almost every local kitchen: onions, bell pepper, celery and garlic, otherwise known as the Holy Trinity and the Pope. There’s a package of hot sausage in the fridge or freezer, and a can of Steen’s cane syrup in the pantry, next to the cayenne pepper, oregano, at least one shaker of Creole seasonings and at least two bottles of hot sauce. Rice is a given. So are grits.

Grits are made with a gristmill. The grinding stones are adjusted to make coarse grits, medium grits, fine grits or cornmeal. White grits use hulled kernels, while yellow grits include the entire kernel.

Shrimp & Grits are a South Carolina low country invention, but grillades are arguably local, with some sourcing them back to the original Cajun boucheries. Beef and pork grillades were originally served alone, then with rice and eventually with grits, the way we eat them today. Our recipe uses the classic veal shoulder simmered in a Creole red gravy, but a beef top round or pork shoulder can be substituted.


For Grillades:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons Zatarain’s, Tony Chachere’s or other Creole seasoning
  • 4 pounds boneless veal shoulder, sliced into ¼ inch cutlets
  • 1/4 cup Rouses vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups canned whole plum tomatoes, drained, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups beef stock (we like Kitchen Basic)
  • Leaves from 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Rouses salt and pepper to taste

For Grits:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese


For Grillades:

  1. Combine flour and Creole seasoning in a medium bowl. Set aside. Rinse and pat dry veal cutlets, then season with salt and pepper. Dredge cutlets in the seasoned flour and shake off excess. Do not discard flour.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat until it is 360 degrees. You can test the temperature by dropping a piece of rice into the oil. If it pops right back up, it’s ready. Fry the cutlets, several at a time, until golden brown on both sides. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Remove cutlets from skillet and continue to cook in batches until all the veal has been browned.
  3. When all of the veal has been cooked, reduce the heat to medium-high. Add onions and cook, stirring throughout, until they are a deep, rich color, about 20 minutes. Add the celery, bell pepper and garlic, reduce the heat to moderate, and continue cooking and stirring for 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked down. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the seasoned flour into the skillet and stir to thicken the vegetable mixture. Increase heat to high, stir in the tomatoes and beef stock, and cook until it comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir the thyme, pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce into the vegetables. Add bay leaf. Add the veal cutlets, cover, and simmer until the veal is fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Season with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Serve over grits.

For Grits:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium.
  2. Slowly whisk in grits, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook 40-50 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t scorch on the bottom of the pan.
  3. When grits are cooked, stir in 2 tablespoons butter and mascarpone and remove from stove.
  4. Cover pot and wrap in a towel to keep grits warm.

Ingredients used in this recipe