Shrimp, Missouri Country Ham and Heirloom Grits with Cheddar from Chef Bill Cardwell

Serves 8
Chef Bill Cardwell
Pairs well with:
Chardonnay, Napa Valley

One of our American Harvest Workshop Alumni Chef Bill Cardwell of Cardwell's on the Plaza, in St. Louis, MO creates a favorite dish of Shrimp, Missouri Country Ham with Grits and Cheddar. Aromas of country ham, shrimp gravy and homemade hot sauce abound. A delightful, rich dish that pairs wonderfully with the richness of our Napa Valley Chardonnay.


2 pounds (21 to 25 count) shrimp in shell, peel and de-vein, reserve shells, refrigerate shrimp -- shrimp for later use.
2 Tbl olive oil
1 large onion, minced
2 stalks celery, minced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
2 tbl tomato paste
2 bay leaf
1 cup white wine
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
6 tbl soft sweet butter
3 tbl flour

8 ounces Missouri Country Ham, fine dice
2 tbl olive oil
reserved shrimp
salt & pepper, as needed
hot sauce
1 1/2 cups Heirloom Grits (available from
6 cups cold water
1 tbl sea salt
white pepper
1 cup aged white cheddar cheese, shredded
4 tbl sweet butter

1 cup green onions, thinly sliced


Heat olive oil in heavy 4 quart sauce pot. Add reserved shells and cook, stirring until they turn pink. Add onion, celery, garlic, herbs and seasoning, and sauté together for 2-3 minutes. Add wine and water, bring to boil. Simmer for one hour, strain shells and solids, reserve stock and discard solids.

Place stock in sauce pot and reduce to approximately four cups, taste for salt and pepper. Combine butter and flour, knead into paste. Slowly whip into reduced stock a little at a time to thicken. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and reserve warm.

Shrimp and Ham:

Heat olive oil in large sauté pan. Add ham and cook, stirring until brown and crispy. Remove with slotted spoon and reserve. Add shrimp and more oil if needed in single layer and cook until pink on both sides. Remove as cooked and reserve with ham. When all shrimp are cooked, combine ham and shrimp with warm reserved sauce. Taste for seasoning. Add hot sauce if desired.


In 4 quart sauce pot with lid, bring water and salt to boil. Slowly add grits, stirring until grits begin to thicken. Cover pot and turn heat on low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until grits are tender and thick. Add cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To Serve:

To serve, place portion of grits in bowl, ladle shrimp ham with sauce on top, sprinkle with green onion.

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