Cast Iron

Goat Cheese Grits with Red Eye Gravy, Country Ham, and a Fried Egg

September 16, 2013
5 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This is slightly elevated diner food, an updated classic if you will. The creamy, slightly sweet, tangy grits along with salty ham, coffee gravy, and the ever perfect sunny side up egg result in the quintessential southern breakfast, but don't feel married to breakfast -- this meal is good for invoking the laid back vibe of a diner any time of day. —Beth Kirby | {local milk}

What You'll Need
  • For Grits
  • 4 cups goat's milk (whole cow's milk will do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup grits
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or to taste)
  • For Ham, Egg, and Gravy
  • 3 tablespoons butter, plus extra as needed for frying
  • 4 thin slices country ham
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
  1. For Grits
  2. Bring milk, salt, and nutmeg just to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  3. Slowly whisk in grits and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent sticking.
  4. When thick and cooked through, remove from heat and stir in goat cheese, honey, and salt to taste if desired.
  1. For Ham, Egg, and Gravy
  2. While your grits are cooking, melt 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a cast iron skillet and fry your ham until browned over medium heat, about 2 minutes per side. I fry two slices at a time to fit them in the pan.
  3. Once all your ham is fried up, deglaze the pan with the coffee, scraping at the browned bits with a wooden spoon.
  4. Simmer until reduced by a third and then swirl in one and a half tablespoons of butter. Pour off into a bowl and reserve.
  5. Wipe down your pan and fry your eggs in the rest of the butter, and serve the grits topped with ham, gravy, and an egg. And a napkin.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Olivia Lee
    Olivia Lee
  • Vanessa
  • Beth Kirby | {local milk}
    Beth Kirby | {local milk}
  • Paige Jones
    Paige Jones
A Southern writer with a cast iron skillet & a camera. Freelance food writer & photographer. Blogs at

10 Reviews

Helens February 23, 2014
Is it acceptable to use some kind of decaff coffee - for serving to those who can't have caffeine?
Paige J. February 15, 2018
Careful! Decaf still has caffeine, just less!
Olivia L. January 10, 2014
I have never had grits or red eye gravy. This looks delicious I can't wait to try it.
Vanessa September 24, 2013
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I've been craving something but wasn't sure what until now! :D
Suzy September 23, 2013
I'm thinking my husband would super happy if I made this for him! Yummy!
Beth K. September 24, 2013
This is *definitely* happy husband food. My other half (a born & bread southerner) doesn't really like grits (weirdo) & he even likes this!
Beth K. September 22, 2013
Typo corrected. Carry on. : )
Randy September 22, 2013
Really Jazzball(?) This IS a recipe not an English lesson. "Add the coffee "WHILE" scrapimg at the browned bits with a wooden spoon(on the bottom)." Feel better now (comma), Professor?
Jazzball September 22, 2013
Whew! Randy -- chill! Why don't we see what Beth has to say? Most recipe-writers are happy to clear up confusion.
Jazzball September 22, 2013
This looks great! Please add a comma between "coffee" and "scraping" in step 2 of the ham section. It's confusing without!