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+ servings
shrimp and grits in a bowl topped with red pepper sauce and cherry tomatoes

Southern Shrimp and Grits w/ Red Pepper Gravy

A twist on a Southern classic grits and gravy recipe perfect for hosting brunch or weeknight dinner.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: southern
Servings: 6
Author: Marwin Brown


For Homemade Stock

  • 2 sheets of dried kombu edible kelp
  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 oz dried shitake mushrooms about 20 mushrooms
  • 3 garlic cloves smashed with dull side of chef knife
  • 1 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped into 1/4 inch chunks
  • 2 large carrots roughly chopped
  • 2-3 small bunches of scallions roots trimmed
  • 1 medium onion halved
  • 2 lbs smoked pork or turkey wings, necks, backs, etc.
  • 1-2 lbs of chicken wings or whole legs

For Tare:

  • 2 cups light soy sauce
  • 1 cup mirin
  • 1 cup sake

For Red Pepper Gravy

  • 2 cups Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 White wine
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 1/2 small red pepper diced

For the Grits

  • 2 1/2 cups water or homemade stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 sharp cheddar cheese grated
  • Shrimp
  • Red Pepper Gravy


Make the Stock

  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Roast the chicken in a pan until well browned (25-30 minutes) and set aside
  • Combine water and kelp in a large stock pot. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Turn off the heat and let the kombu steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the kombu, and add the chicken and mushrooms. Stir in the pot and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer the broth at the lowest possible setting your stove allows for about an hour. The chicken should be very tender and basically about ready to fall off the bone. Remove the chicken and mushrooms with a spider or slotted spoon.
  • Add the smoked turkey, carrots, onions, scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pot and simmer uncovered for as much time as you have, but at least an hour and up to a day. You’ll need to occasionally skim off the fat and scum that accumulates on the surface. For the last 45 minutes of cooking add the soy sauce. Strain the broth. Pour the broth through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl; discard the solids. Cool the broth to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Before using, skim any additional fat/scum off the surface.
  • Finish the broth by seasoning with the tare. Use as much or as little as you prefer.

Make the Tare

  • Add all ingredients to sauce pan and turn the heat to high, bringing the liquid to a boil and then lowering to a simmer. Cook for an hour. Set aside 

Make the Red Pepper Gravy

  • Heat sauce pan over medium heat. Add red onions and red peppers and saute 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes deglazing the pan with a wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits..
  • Reduce heat and add the red pepper sauce and cream. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Make the Grits

  • Mix the grits, stock, salt, cheese, and butter in sauce pan
  • Bring to boil over medium heat
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes; cook longer for extra creamy grits
  • After about 4-5 minutes add the cream and begin stirring and stir as often as needed afterwards.
  • Add more liquid if you need to thin
  • Serve in bowls topped with shrimp, red pepper gravy, and fresh parsley.

Make the shrimp

  • Just season simply with salt and pepper, then saute in a skillet using olive oil or butter.


Feel free to make a much more simple streamline stock or use commercial chicken stock. When I'm low on time I just add smoked turkey bones to a commercial chicken stock and let it simmer.
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