Country Ham with Red-Eye Gravy and Grits
1/2 cup stone-ground grits,
such as Anson Mills Carolina Quick Grits
Kosher salt, to taste
1 tsp. canola oil
2 2-ounce slices country ham
2 tbsp. brewed coffee
1/8 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, halved
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring grits and 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer. Cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until grits are soft and have the consistency of porridge, about 30 minutes. Add kosher salt to taste; cover and keep warm.
2. Grease a 10" cast-iron or nonstick skillet with 1 tsp. oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add country ham and cook, inverting once, until crisped and golden brown on each side, about 5 minutes. With tongs, transfer the ham to 2 warm plates. Add coffee, 1/2 cup water, and sugar to the skillet, scraping up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Simmer gravy until it has reduced to 1/4 cup, 2–3 minutes. (The gravy will be thin and have the color of brackish water.) Ladle gravy over ham. Spoon hot grits into 2 small bowls and top each with a pat of butter and black pepper to taste. Serve hot alongside ham and gravy.