Southern Red Gravy

Tomato-braised beef dishes are cherished in Southern U.S. cuisine for their rich, slow-cooked flavors. Typically made with beef roast, brisket, oxtails, short ribs, shanks, "7-bone steak” or grillades, these dishes are seared and slow-cooked with tomatoes, onions-celery-peppers (“the holy trinity”), garlic, bay leaves, thyme and cayenne.

Adding smoked meats like pepper bacon, country ham, Andouille or Conecuh sausage enhances the flavors; diced carrots and Creole meatballs are also often added.

The long braising time creates a luscious, piquant gravy that pairs well with mashed potatoes or traditional sides like grits, spoonbread or rice. Often served over creamy cheddar, gouda or classic buttered grits, Southern braised beef dishes reflect the region’s rich culinary landscape.

Red Gravy in the South (not to be confused with red-eye gravy, made from black coffee and ham drippings) varies from state to state and home to home.

Smoked meat of some sort is usually included, sometimes with whatever meat is available—even leftover roast, ribs or chops.