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White bowl with shrimp, bacon, soft-boiled egg, and scallions over white grits.

Shrimp and Grits with Bacon

Southern-style shrimp and grits cooked in a flavorful stock, topped with pan-fried marinated shrimp, crisp bacon, and scallions. Delicious for brunch or for dinner.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Add 20 minutes if using stone ground grits 20 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Supper
Cuisine American, Cajun, Carolina, Creole, Louisiana, Southern
Servings 4
Calories 914 kcal

Equipment

  • cast iron skillet

Ingredients
  

Shrimp Marinade

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder substitute paprika if you don't like heat

Shrimp and Grits

  • 8 pieces bacon
  • 4 eggs soft-boiled
  • 1 lb shrimp jumbo (preferably 21/25 count), peeled and deveined, raw
  • 6 cups pork stock or chicken stock or dashi - see note
  • 2 cups grits stone ground or quick, NOT instant
  • 3 Tbsp bacon fat divided
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup diced scallions

Instructions
 

  • Mix together marinade for shrimp: oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and cayenne or paprika. Toss shrimp in marinade and let flavors meld.
  • Cook bacon to desired level of doneness, preferably in cast iron pan. Remove to paper towel lined plate and reserve 3 tbsp of the rendered fat.
  • Bring 4 cups of the stock to a boil. Turn heat to medium. Slowly pour in grits, stirring constantly. Continue to stir for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, adding more liquid as grits become firm, until all 6 cups have been used. Cook stone ground grits for 45-60 minutes and quick grits for 20 minutes.
  • Once grits are creamy and all liquid is absorbed, stir in 2 Tbsp of bacon fat, butter, and soy sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat remaining bacon fat in cast iron pan over medium-high heat (same pan used for bacon is fine). Once hot, add shrimp in single layer (cook in batches if needed). Cook for about 2 min per side, or until tails curl and flesh turns opaque. Remove immediately.
  • Divide grits into 4 bowls. Top each with shrimp. Crack one soft-boiled egg into the center of each bowl. Top with bacon and scallions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Notes

**Options for stock: homemade or store-bought pork stock, homemade or store-bought ramen broth, leftover pork pho broth, bacon dashi, regular dashi (OK to make from powder), or homemade or store-bought chicken stock. If you're using chicken stock or regular dashi, the grits will taste even better if you infuse the broth with bacon flavor. If you have time, cook 6 oz of bacon in the stock for either an hour on the stove or 15 minute in an instant pot or pressure cooker. Feel free to make the grits without this step, they just won't be quite as bacon-y. 
**Stone ground grits take 45-60 min to cook, and have a coarser texture. Quick grits take about 20 min to cook and have a smoother texture. Instant grits should not be used in this recipe. Polenta can be substituted for grits, and cornmeal or masa could also be used if necessary. 
**21/25 shrimp refers to the number of shrimp per pound - if you can't find 21/25, get as close as you can.
Keyword bacon recipe, breakfast for dinner, savory grits, shrimp and grits, shrimp with bacon, southern recipe