Good grits! Pot roast goes well with creamy Southern staple
February 11, 2015
Over the last 30 years, while training to be a chef in kitchens across the globe, I discovered I was missing out on a lot of vegetables that I did not even know existed. Don’t get me wrong, Mom’s mashed potatoes are to-die-for, but so are Liz Porter’s creamy grits.
I recently had the opportunity to go to Liz’s farm, Buckeye Creek in Hickory Flat, and learn how to make grits. Oh my god, I had no idea.
I’ve been cooking with grits for over 20 years and had no idea how they were actually made. There is a lot of hard work and love that go into making a great grit. One must cure the summer/fall harvest and then shuck the dried corn cobs. Machine number one must be hand cranked by one person, while another person feeds the corn cobs into the machine. Out one end comes the cob, and out the bottom comes the kernels.
From there, the kernels go to machine number two. This is where the kernels get ground between two stones. The stones on the machine can be adjusted for the coarseness of the grind. From there, the grits fall onto a series of screens/sifters, each one finer than the last.
Depending on the fineness of the screen is how coarse or fine the grits will be. There can be four different kinds of grits/corn products from this one machine which are; big fat grits, coarse grits, creamy grits and polenta.
At Century House Tavern, we use the creamy grits on two dishes: Jack and Coke glazed pork belly and low country shrimp.
The creamy grits are a nice mix of the coarse and the fine grits. Our guests really love them and the fact that they are local. As you can see in this recipe, grits are versatile and blend well with many flavors. Have fun with the local ones while they are in season, but you can find grits year-round in your favorite grocery store.
Please enjoy and good cooking.
Daniel Porubiansky is chef partner of Century House Tavern in Woodstock.
1 chuck roast
3 tablespoon olive oil (to sear)
1 large yellow onion (peeled and diced)
3 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
1 bunch of celery (washed and chopped – discard the leaves)
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
(Mix herbs and peppercorns in a sachet of cheesecloth.)
1 cup red wine
1 quart beef stock
½ stick butter
Salt & pepper
Season the meat with salt and pepper and sear the meat on both sides in a hot pan with olive oil. Transfer the meat to the roasting pan and deglaze the sauté pan with red wine. In the roasting pan, combine with the roast, the sachet, the stock, the red wine and the vegetables. Cover the pan and cook at 350 for about 3 hours (oven times vary and it may take 30 minutes more). The meat should be fork tender.
Remove from the oven and carefully take the roast out of the pan and place on a tray. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Remove the sachet and blend the remaining sauce with all the veggies to make the gravy. When the roast is cold, you can portion it into 6 equal portions (getting the roast cold first helps keep the roast from falling apart when cutting). This can all be done a day in advance.
1 pint of creamy grits from Buckeye Creek Farm
1 quart water
1 stick and 2 tablespoons of butter
¼ cup heavy cream
Bring water and 1 stick of butter to a boil. Add 1 pinch of salt and the grits, reduce heat to low, and whisk briskly. Let the grits cook 15 – 20 minutes, on low heat, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
Slowly bring gravy and portioned pot roast to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to a simmer and add ½ stick of cold butter to the gravy and gently stir. When the butter is emulsified, the pot roast and the gravy should be ready. While the grits are being re-heated over low to medium heat, slowly add heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of butter while stirring constantly. Adjust final seasoning with salt. May require additional water while reheating.
In your favorite bowl, spoon the grits into the center, and gently place the pot roast in the center of the grits. Generously spoon gravy over the pot roast. Ready to serve.