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Grillades and Grits “Lafitte’s Landing”

This is my adaptation of the style of grillades and grits–the greatest of all Creole brunch dishes–that Chef John Folse used to serve at his great restaurant Lafitte’s Landing in Donaldsonville. My favorite cut of veal for this is thin-cut veal T-bone, with the bone in so the sauce picks up a lot of flavor.

  • 4 thin-cut veal T-bone steaks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt-free Creole seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 6 Tbs. butter
  • 1/4 cup tawny port or dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups light veal stock (optional)
  • 8 black olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 Tbs. capers, well drained
  • 1/4. tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 3/4 cup grits
  • 1 Tbs. butter

1. Season the veal with the Creole seasoning and salt.

2. Heat 2 Tbs. butter in a large skillet until it bubbles, then sear the veal over medium-high heat until browned. Remove and reserve.

3. Deglaze the pan with the tawny port and bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of the pan to dissolve the brown bits stuck there. Reduce the wine to almost no liquid at all.

3. Add the remaining butter and the flour. Make a medium-dark roux, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. When the roux is the right color, lower the heat and quickly add the onions, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the onions turn translucent.

4. Stir in thyme and crushed tomatoes. Bring that to a boil, then add the veal and veal stock (or 1 1/2 cups water, if not using stock). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the olives, capers, salt and pepper. Cover the pan, and simmer until sauce has thickened to one-half original volume. Try to stretch this process out to at least two hours.

5. Cook grits according to package directions, adding butter when grits are near desired thickness (which should not be so thick that they will not flow off a spoon).

6. Check seasoning of the grillades sauce. Slice the veal grillades into strips or squares, removing the bones and fat. Serve grillades and lots of sauce with the grits or on the side.

Serves four.

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