Rose Veal Grillades and Grits

A Cajun-inspired gravy is the key to this richly spiced brunch dish.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    2 hours


By Mitchell Arens

Published on May 15, 2024

Chef Mitchell Arens first fell in love with grillades and grits at the now-closed Blue Dog Cafe in Lafayette, Louisiana. Throughout his career, Arens, who now oversees several restaurants in Kentucky, has used different proteins, from venison to pork shoulder, to replicate that dish. But according to the chef, none compare to the tender rose veal from Our Home Place Meat in Henry County, Kentucky. The key to great grillades—which, despite the name, are not grilled, but fried or seared—is the gravy, he says. In this case, a roux is cooked to the color of peanut butter before adding the Louisiana trinity of green bell peppers, onions, and celery.

Arens recommends Weisenberger brand stone-ground grits, which can take up to 2 hours to cook. More finely ground grits can cook in 20 minutes; adjust your cook time accordingly.

Unlike traditional veal, which typically comes from young cattle raised in unsanitary feedlots, rose veal (also called rose beef) is always pasture-raised, and can be purchased online from Our Home Place Meat, a cooperative of farmers dedicated to high animal welfare standards.


For the grillades:

  • 3–4 lb. rose veal boneless shoulder
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. Cajun spice blend, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 2 cups lard (or more vegetable oil)
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 cup finely chopped poblano or green bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 qt. chicken stock
  • 2 cups fire-roasted crushed canned tomatoes, liquid reserved
  • Finely chopped scallions, for garnish

For the grits:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned grits
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ½-in. pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Prepare the grillades: On a large cutting board, cut the veal against the grain into ⅜-inch slices. Transfer to a large bowl, add 2 teaspoons of the Cajun spice, then season lightly with salt and black pepper. Add 1 cup of the flour, toss lightly to coat the veal, then using your hands to shake off any excess flour, transfer the veal to a clean plate. 

Step 2

Into a heavy-bottomed pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, pour the oil to a depth of 2 inches. Turn the heat to medium-high, and when the temperature reads 350°F, working in batches and without crowding the pan, fry the veal, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, 5–8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the veal to a large baking dish and set aside. Discard the oil (or save for another use), wipe the pot clean, and return to the stove. 

Step 3

In the same pot, heat the lard until it is hot but not smoking. Whisk in the remaining flour and cook, stirring continuously, until the roux is smooth and the color of peanut butter, 5–15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the onion, celery, poblano, and garlic, then set aside to cool at room temperature. 

Step 4

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 300°F. 

Step 5

In a small pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Pour off and discard any oil that has risen to the top of the reserved roux, then return the pot of roux to the stove, turn the heat to medium, and whisk in the hot chicken stock. Bring to a full boil, then turn the heat down to simmer, skimming any fat that rises to the surface, until the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the remaining Cajun spice, season to taste with salt and black pepper, then pour the gravy over the reserved veal. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the meat is tender and the gravy is slightly reduced, about 1½ hours. 

Step 6

Make the grits: To a medium pot set over high heat, add 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the grits and cook, stirring continuously, until the water boils again, then turn the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the grits are thick and creamy, 20–40 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and butter, then season to taste with salt and black pepper. 

Step 7

Divide the grits among wide bowls or plates, top with the grillades and gravy, garnish with scallions, and serve warm.

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