If you want the perfect cold weather dish then try our creamy Cheesy Grits and Lamb Sausage. This southern favorite is perfect for cold weather climates. So good!
Cheesy Grits and Lamb Sausage
If you like cheesy grits then I think our Cheesy Grits and Lamb Sausage is definitely for you. The odd thing about cheese grits is that down south or anywhere else, they aren’t typically called “cheese grits” they’re just called grits (no cheese mentioned anywhere, the nerve!). It is just a given that there is going to be cheese in those grits. And just in case you’re asking, “What is a grit?” Well, grits are white or yellow hominy corn kernels stone ground into a course meal. This course corn meal is then added to boiling water in a typically 1/2 ratio, one (1) cup of grits and two (2) cups of water. The grits will absorb the water and thicken. In the south, grits are usually served with butter, salt, and black pepper. But in the north most Yanks prefer their grits sweetened. Also, some like their grits thick and others like ’em runny and thin. The runny and thin version of grits just ain’t cool. Trust. Once the grits have achieved a desirable consistency a good grade of sweet cream butter, add salt, black pepper, and cheese. Stir until smooth and serve. That’s the gist of it, now go make you some grits! “Hold your horses one gaul darn minute!” You may say, “When do I serve grits?” Well, I am glad you asked. Grits can be used just like you use most carbs, like rice, potatoes, or even pasta. So, pairing grits with your favorite savory foods to eat is easy. And not only is it easy, but the results are gonna be delicious!
Why these grits? Ever since our trip to Savanah, Georgia a few months ago I have developed a cheesy, yellow stone-ground, grits obsession. Now, you may call me a lot of things, but if a good plate of cheesy grits is involved, please don’t call me late for dinner! Let me say this, these grits, the ones on this plate, in these photos, are the best grits I have ever had. They are better than the grits I had at Savanah, Georgia’s Aligator Soul. Even better than the grits, I had on Jekyll Island, Georgia. These here grits are absolutely amazing, and I am going to show you how to achieve grit making awesomeness! Promise!
Psst! I am putting you’ll on notice. When it comes to making above par cheesy grits, this ingredient is essential. Mind you, your package of grits will incorrectly instruct you to use water when making your grits. I am shaking my weary lil’ head right now.
And guess what?
They are so wrong for that, so unforgivably wrong. Because grits are 100% impressionable to the flavors, they’re introduced to. So, why prepare them using plain old water? Let me ask you this,”Why would you add water when instead you can pour in savory mouthwatering flavor?”
Now, here’s the secret.
Instead of using water, use broth. Chicken broth, beef broth, and even a seafood broth all work very well. Or if you’re vegan, you can use an organic vegetable broth. The whole idea is to build a flavor base which will compliment the rest of your ingredients. Allowing your grits to absorb the flavor of an intensely rich broth instead of bland water is an important step in making your grits memorable and wonderfully delicious.
Adding a good broth is the secret to great tasting grits. Epic Artisanal Savory Chicken Bone Broth was used in our recipe
Okay, so now you know how to make delicious and legit grits. Next, we add in protein. And with this recipe, I used something off the beaten trail. Shrimp and grits have already been done countless times, so I decided to go with some Merguez Lamb Sausage. It’s distinct lamb flavor paired very well with the texture and cheesy creaminess of the grits. I’ll say this; it was an incredibly good choice.
I used Merguez Lamb Sausage because I wanted to let you see first hand the possibilities of using this incredibly versatile food staple known as grits. Plus, Merguez Lamb Sausage is made right here in Michigan by the good folks at Corridor Sausage Co. Gotta support our local farmers, right?
Did you know that besides yellow and white grits come in a few different colors? There are the rare heirloom blue corn grits and red hominy variety.
Okay, now let’s talk cheese. Usually, cheese grits are made using a sharp cheddar cheese. And most cheese grits recipes use two types of cheese with one being the former variety mentioned with the addition of a creamier variety. Ideally, you will want to use cheeses which melt well and will compliment the rest of the flavors you are using. For this recipe, I used one (1) cup of Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar and one (1) cup of aged Gouda, both shredded and added once the grits began to thicken.
The rest of the recipe consists of caramelized sweet Vidalia onions and some chopped cilantro for a bit of herbaceousness. I can’t wait for you guys to try this one and let me know how it all turns out. Get the full recipe down below.
- 2 1/2 cups Freeman’s Mill Stone Ground Whole Grain yellow grits
- 6 cup savory chicken bone broth (or chicken stock)
- 1/2 stick unsalted Kerrygold Butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup shredded Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar
- 1 cup shredded Uniekaas Robusto cheese (or a good pale rind Gouda cheese)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly cracked black peppercorns, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro per plate
- 1 large Sweet Vidalia Onion
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons high-quality unsalted butter
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black peppercorns, to taste
In a large skillet over med-high heat add EVOO and unsalted butter. Once the butter has melted, add the sliced onions and toss until the onions are glossy. Spread the onions out so they cook and brown evenly. Cook onions on med-high heat for five (5) to get a bit of char on them. Reduce heat to low and slow cook them until they caramelize. About thirty-five (35) more minutes and they’re done. Add sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste.
Notes: Don’t slice your onions too thin, thin onions have a tendency to fall apart or burn. Use a mandolin and adjust the blade for a medium cut, about a 1/4″ is perfect.
Cooking the lamb sausage:
I put a bit of EVOO in a cast iron skillet over med-high heat, but you can grill them over wood charcoal too for even more flavor. Once the oil began to smoke I added the lamb sausage. I let them cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side to get a bit of char on the sausage. After browning both sides reduce the heat to med-low and cook the sausage until done. About 15-20 minutes. The Merguez Lamb Sausage produces a flavorful jus that begs to be spooned over the cheese grits. Do it ’cause you’ll be a happy camper if you do. True story.
Cheesy Grits Directions:
Cook your grits last, because grits naturally thicken the longer they sit. So, for best results prepare the meat and onions first, then prepare the cheesy grits last.
- Prepare caramelized onions and lamb sausage ahead of time.
- Using a large stock pot over med-high heat add six (6) cups of savory chicken bone broth, butter and a pinch of sea salt.
- When the bone broth mixture begins to boil start adding the grits and stir them using a whisk. Whisking the grits prevents them from clumping together. And believe me, you don’t want lumpy grits. No Bueno!
- Continue stirring until the grits start to thicken, typically after 10-12 minutes.
- Turn the heat source to low, add cheese and heavy cream and stir until the cheese melts.
- Add sea salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste.
- Spoon cheese grits onto a serving plate, add lamb sausage, caramelized onions. Finish with freshly chopped cilantro and pan drippings from the sausage.