Barley grits casserole with apples and sausage recipe

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  • Yield: 6 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 cup barley grits
  • 1 pound turkey breakfast sausage, any casings removed, the filling broken into 1-inch clumps
  • 2 tart apples (such as Granny Smith, Empire, or Northern Spy), peeled, cored, and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 8 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 5 ounces Gruyère, shredded through the large holes of a box grater
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking pan
How to Make It
  1. Position the rack in the center of the oven and crank it up to 475°F. Grease a 6-cup oval gratin dish or 9-inch square baking pan with a little butter on a wadded-up paper towel or piece of wax paper.
  2. Mix the water and barley grits in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until most of the water has been absorbed, about 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Set aside off the heat, covered, to steam for 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, fry the sausage clumps in a dry skillet set over medium heat until nicely browned, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the apples, scallions, and garlic; cook, stirring, until the apple and scallions begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Scrape the contents of the skillet into the bowl with the grits. Mix together, then cool for 5 minutes, before stirring in the cheese and egg yolks until there’s no trace of any egg in the mixture.
  4. Use an electric mixer at high speed to beat the egg whites in a separate bowl until light, foamy, droopy peaks can be made off the beaters when they’re turned off and dipped back into the egg whites.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to fold the beaten egg whites into the barley grits mixture, taking care to use gentle, long strokes to keep as much of the air and fluff in the egg whites as possible. Spoon and spread this mixture into the prepared dish or pan. Dot the top with the butter.
  6. Bake until puffed, browned, and set, about 40 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before scooping up big spoonfuls into bowls.

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