Yield: 4 servings
Wine Suggestion: C-S-M Red Wine Limited Release
3 Tbs plus 1 tsp unsalted butter, divided
4 4-ounce ham steaks
2 tsp flour
1/2 tsp paprika
2 cups chicken or rich vegetable stock
1-1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp whiskey
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives or thyme
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Heat cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add 2 teaspoons of the butter; fry ham steaks on both sides until golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add 2 more teaspoons of the butter to the skillet; stir in flour and paprika with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook and stir the roux for about 4 minutes, reducing the heat if roux browns too quickly. When the roux is a nice golden color, increase heat to medium-high and whisk in the stock and espresso. (Note: to avoid lumps, pour stock in slowly while whisking quickly.) Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until gravy has thickened to a consistency that will coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
Whisk in whiskey, balsamic, remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and fresh herbs; season to taste with salt & pepper. Pour Red-Eye Gravy over fried ham steaks and serve with stone-ground grits sprinkled with Colby cheese.