To the French, grillades are thin pieces of grilled or broiled meat. But to anyone from Creole country or nearby environs, grillades have nothing whatsoever to do with a grill. They’re thin-pounded pieces of tender, milky veal (or eye of round or even pork chops if you prefer), coated in seasoned flour, browned in oil, butter, or bacon grease, then set to simmer in a rich tomato-based sauce. Here the flour from the browned meat helps thicken the sauce as it cooks, although you can certainly play around with filé powder too. It’s dried, pulverized sassafras leaves that, along with okra, helps give extra body to many Creole and Cajun dishes. If the sauce doesn’t look thick enough to your liking, stir in half a teaspoon of filé before adding the mushrooms and parsley. There is one other important distinction to note about Creole grillades: Served over grits, grillades are typically a breakfast or brunch meal. Over rice, they’re dinner.
Food & Drink
Grillades & Grits
Serves 4 to 6
The perfect Creole brunch dish
photo: Peter Frank Edwards
1 1/2 pounds veal or eye of round cutlets
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning, such as Tony Chachere's
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons bacon grease or unsalted butter
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery with leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
2 bay leaves
1 cup veal, beef, or pork stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 cups hot cooked grits, prepared according to package instructions
Pat the meat with paper towels to thoroughly dry it. Pound to ½-inch thickness with the smooth side of a meat mallet, then cut into 3-inch-wide strips.
Combine the flour, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a large zip-top bag. Add the pieces of meat and shake well to coat.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease or butter in a large cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Brown half of the meat for 2 minutes per side; remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of bacon grease or butter to the pan and repeat with the remaining pieces. Set the meat aside and keep warm by tenting loosely with foil.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the pan along with the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often.
Crush the tomatoes with your hands over the vegetables and add them to the pan with the bay leaves, stock, and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.
Slip the meat back into the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the mushrooms and parsley, cover, and cook for 10 minutes more, until mushrooms are cooked through.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve over the grits.
Recipe from Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook
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