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Beef Stew With Cheesy Fried Grits


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  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck cut 1" cubes
  • 1 tablespoon Essence (see Bayou Blast recipe)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 carrots peeled, and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 turnip chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup roughly-chopped seeded plum tomatoes
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms wiped clean, and quartered
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cups reduced beef or chicken stock
  • 1 pound baking potatoes, like russets peeled, and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Fresh chives garnish
  • Chopped chives garnish
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup old fashioned grits
  • 1 cup grated white cheddar
  • 3 tablespoons chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil - (to 1) for pan frying


Servings 6


Step 1

Place the meat in a dish and season with 2 teaspoons of the Essence. Combine the flour with the remaining teaspoon of Essence. Dredge the meat in the flour to lightly coat, shaking to remove any excess.

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches and cook, stirring until evenly browned. As the meat browns, remove to a plate. Add the onions, carrots, and turnip, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook until brown, about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, and tomatoes, and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Add the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the stock and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Add the peas to the stew during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Add the parsley and stir to combine.

Arrange the fried grit squares in shallow bowls and ladle the stew over the grits. Garnish with chopped chives and fresh chive stems.

For the Cheesy Fried Grits: Grease an 8- by 8-inch baking sheet with the butter and set aside.

In a large, heavy saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Slowly add the grits, salt and pepper, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, add the cheese, green onions, and garlic, and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Turn out the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and using an offset cake spreader or rubber spatula, spread evenly across the bottom. Refrigerate until completely cooled and firm, at least 1 hour. Cut the grits into squares and refrigerate until ready to work.

In a large, heavy skillet or saute pan, heat 1/2 cup of the oil to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour and Essence in a shallow dish. Combine the eggs and milk in another shallow dish, whisking to combine.

Dredge the squares in the seasoned flour, dip into the egg wash, and then back into the flour, 1 at a time. Fry in batches, turning, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes, adding more oil as necessary. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Season fried grits lightly with Essence.

This recipe yields 6 servings.

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