From Our Kitchen: Pot Roast over Cheesy Ranch Grits

I spent nearly a decade of my life deprived of the culinary sensation commonly knowns as grits, technically known as boiled enriched white hominy. (But who even calls it that?) Upon my arrival to college during my seventeenth year of existence, I was finally introduced to what I assume were instant grits. They actually weren’t too bad, and I usually got them when they were served. Yet, that exposure wasn’t sufficient to warrant further, self-initiated consumption or preparation; it would not be until over ten years later that I would actually consider making them myself: enter a recent lunch at High Cotton, one of Greenville, South Carolina’s lovely establishments dishing out exceptional southern cuisine.

There, my palate was delighted to enjoy duck confit over grits during a family birthday lunch for Daniel. And thus began a lovely relationship with this Southern version of corn. Daniel even went out and brought some back for me a few days after our baby was born. (I guess that’s one drawback of a home birth–no celebratory hospital meal, though I realize not all hospitals serve steak and lobster to new moms.)

Those were also good, so when I encountered this recipe for BBQ Pot Roast and Cheddar Ranch Grits a couple of weeks ago, Daniel and I decided to give it a try. I dabbled with my part of the recipe (I took the grits, and Daniel prepared the meat with is own modification), and it ended up tasting similar enough to whatever I had at High Cotton, and now we are hooked. This, folks, is major comfort food. In fact, I think I could eat these grits for every meal. The meat is great, too; I’m just a little hooked on grits right now.

My mom is visiting with us this week, so Daniel and I put this on the menu for her stay and make it together a second time. Grits aren’t a food she’s had much, either; but let’s just say she was the first to clean her plate at supper tonight. ;) Although, I might have won if I hadn’t needed to feed the baby. :) Our modified recipe:

Slow Cooker Pot-Roast

Ingredients & Instructions:

  • 1 (4-5 lb.) boneless chuck roast
  • 12 oz. (1 can) Coca-Cola
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar

Place roast in crockpot/slow-cooker, and sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on top. Combine and mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the roast. Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Grits

Ingredients & Instructions:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned grits*
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet of buttermilk ranch dressing mix or homemade dry ranch mix recipe**
  • 4 oz. (1/2 bar) cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese.

Bring milk and chicken broth to a boil. Add ranch mix and grits, and reduce heat. Cook for 10 minutes, then add cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Turn heat to low, and stir until cheese has melted. If mixture seems to be dry, add broth from roast or additional milk/cream. (I usually end up adding a little bit of heavy whipping cream.)

Serve Roast over grits, and drizzle sauce from pot over the dish. Serves 6.

*There are usually three types of grits available in stores: instant grits, quick cook, and old-fashioned. Make sure to select the correct type, as the amount of liquid they must be cooked in differs.

**Store bought ranch dressing mixes contain MSG. As my husband is supposed to avoid these, I simply made a modified homemade dry mix recipe and added it to the pot as the broth was boiling.

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Wow Keren, this looks delicious. Good meat is hard to come by here on the island. I used to make crockpot roast every Sunday when we were living in Richmond but have never put soda in it. I’d like to try this recipe when we get back to the states. :)

    • 2

      says

      This was my first recipe to make using soda, though it seems quite popular (especially in the South). Do they sell grits there? Just curious. :)

  2. 3

    Charity says

    Alright, not to dis your grits or nuthin’, ;) but you haven’t had *real* grits until you’ve had local stone ground grits, as in, from a grist mill (no I didn’t misspell grits). I lived in the Upstate my whole life, as did my husband, except for my college years in Florida. We moved to the Low Country (Charleston area) nearly 2 years ago and here, oh my, are *real* grits!! Don’t be fooled by the name brand store stuff, uh uh, SO not the same thing. Seriously. Email me your address and we’ll send y’all the real thang, but I don’t think the fresh shrimp would last, so y’all will be on your own to find some and then well, you just *have* to try some shrimp and grits. I didn’t realize I was so passionate about grits, but girl, those things you pictured in the canister are like sawdust compared to the real ones. Really. :) .

    • 4

      says

      Ha! Thanks, Charity.

      We’ve actually been to the Hagood Mill grist mill a couple of years ago, and my grandpa used to grind corn at the West Virginia arts and crafts fair. But even with all that, would you believe I don’t think I’ve actually had stone ground grits!? Didn’t think about the difference–will definitely have to pick up some and try them. I’ve even been down to Charleston and Hilton Head multiple times without trying them! And to think I considered myself to have an adventurous palate. :)

      I haven’t had shrimp and grits either…I’d better try some soon so I can have something to base my comparison off of if I ever end up making some. ;) Thankfully, Charleston isn’t too far away.

      • 5

        Charity says

        My husband and I used to live in a “mill house” near Hagood Mill and my late Papa actually retired from there. It’s a beautiful place for family pictures and such (or at least it was a few years ago).

        I know there are places to find real grits in the Upstate area but they seem to be very popular here in the Low Country. If y’all ever come for a visit down here, there is a restaurant in downtown Charleston called Hominy Grill that serves incredible shrimp and grits (including sauteed mushrooms and topped with bacon, oh yummy!) that y’all will just have to try. It’s the kind of place that you would go to for a special meal, well if you’re on the type budget we are, that is ;) because their prices are “special” as well ;) Try as we may, we just can’t duplicate their recipe, but we’ve gotten close enough to get our fix, without the “special” price. Of course there are plenty of things to enjoy here other than the cuisine. We have enjoyed exploring all the history surrounding us, although what we’ve seen is only a drop in the bucket! :)

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