Cook time: 2 hours
Prep time: 40 minutes
My family serves this dish on all special occasions. It was my grandmother's favorite thing to eat. Browned cutlets of pork are slow cooked with the south Louisiana trinity of onion, celery and bell peppers. I like to add ginger, lemongrass and lime leaf for an extra flavorful pop.
Swap option: You can use beef round instead of pork shoulder.
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 pounds pork shoulder steaks, cut 2 inches thick then pounded to 1/2-inch thick
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- One 1-inch piece ginger, minced
- 1/2 stalk lemongrass, lightly beaten with the back of a knife
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 lime leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
- 2 cups beef stock or low-sodium beef broth
- Hot sauce, preferably Tabasco, to taste
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup stone ground grits
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated, or more to taste
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, smashed into a paste
- Salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
For the pork grillades:
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper and stir to blend. Lightly dredge the pounded pork steaks in the flour. Shake lightly to remove any excess.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the 1/4 cup of canola oil over medium-high heat. When the oil just begins to smoke, add enough meat to cover the bottom of the pot in one layer. Cook until well browned on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter or baking sheet and repeat with the remaining meat (the moisture from each new batch of meat should keep the leftover flour bits from burning. Do not remove those bits; they will become your roux).
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan followed by the onion, bell pepper, celery and remaining 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook until the aromatics begin to caramelize, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides to loosen any browned bits, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the lemongrass, bay leaves, lime leaf, oregano, tomatoes and Creole seasoning and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 4 minutes. Stir in the stock and bring to a simmer. Return the pork to the pan, cover, and transfer to the oven (at this point the meat and sauce may also be transferred to a slow cooker and cooked all day or overnight). Cook until the grillades are fork-tender, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours. Once the meat is tender remove the lime leaf, bay leaves and lemongrass. Season the finished grillades with salt and hot sauce to taste.
For the cheesy grits:
In a medium pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Whisk in the grits and continue to stir until the grits begin to thicken, about 3 minutes. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Allow the grits to cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
Once the grits are tender, remove the pot from the heat and whip in the butter, cheese and roasted garlic. Season with salt to taste.
Serve the grillades over the warm cheesy grits and garnish with sliced green onion.