Carolina Kitchen: Shrimp & Grits with Tasso Gravy
by Seasons at Highland Lake Inn; Chef Nate Sargent
Tasso Gravy Shrimp
- 4 ounces tasso, finely chopped
- 15 to 25 shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 cup heavy cream
- kosher salt and white pepper to taste
- For the gravy, sauté the tasso in the butter in a heavy stockpot for 2 minutes.
- Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Add the flour and cook until bubbly, whisking constantly.
- Add the lemon juice, and cream.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, whisking constantly and adding additional cream if needed for the desired consistency.
- Season with, kosher salt and white pepper.
- For the shrimp, season the shrimp with kosher salt and white pepper.
- Sauté in a small amount of olive oil in a skillet.
- Add some of the tasso gravy and mix gently.
- To serve, spoon grits into serving bowls. Top with the shrimp and ladle additional tasso gravy over the top.
Stone Ground Grits
- 1/4 cup bacon drippings
- 6 cups chicken stock (below)
- 2 cups uncooked stone-ground grits
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Kosher salt & black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- Combine the heavy cream, bacon drippings and stock in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
- Add the grits, whisking well.
- Simmer over medium-low heat for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally until the grits are tender
- Stir in the Parmesan cheese, and kosher salt. Keep warm.
- 4 lbs of chicken backs, wings, and/or legs that have been hacked with a cleaver into 2-inch pieces. You can ask your butcher to prepare the chicken pieces this way.
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 quarts of boiling water
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 2 bay leaves
- Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrot and celery. Sauté until softened and slightly colored - 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add chicken pieces
- While the chicken pieces are cooking, fill a large Pot with 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil.
- After the chicken pieces have been cooking for 20 minutes, raise the heat level slightly, add the 2 quarts of boiling water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 2 bay leaves. Return to a low simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, then cover and barely simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Strain stock through cheesecloth or paper towel-lined large sieve, and discard solids. (It helps to remove the big pieces of bone with a slotted spoon first.)