Tag Archives: Senate Gruel

Recipe: Senate Gruel

A little over a decade ago, I was a fresh-out-of-college kid working the front desk in a Senate office and someone new to “the South.”

Having been used to staying up late at the bar where I had previously worked, coming into the office for an 8:00 a.m. shift was a drastic lifestyle change for me. So, making breakfast was a bit of an afterthought, as I had just hoped to get into the office by at least 7:45 so I could get the office up and running.

Luckily, the U.S. Senate has a cafeteria that’s open early. Before it was privatized, it had a decent buffet for breakfast but with a largely southern flair. Which is where I began my appreciation of grits.

One morning I decided to add some corned beef hash (a favorite of my grandpa’s) to the mix. Then I started adding hot sauce… lots of Texas Pete.

After a few breakfasts I started mixing it all together and calling it the “Senate Gruel.”

It looks disgusting. It’s terrible for you. It is delicious.

Periodically, I make it at home and wanted to share the recipe with you.

Serving Size: One


  • 1/2 can of corned beef hash
  • 1 serving of grits (usually 3 tbsp of the instant grits)
  • 1 slice American cheese (can use cheddar but it gets stringy)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of butter or margarine
  • 4 tbsp of Texas Pete hot sauce


  1. In cast iron skillet, fry the hash until crispy. (The Senate baked theirs in a tray… which is more time consuming but good for large amounts.)
  2. In a pot, cook the instant grits.
  3. On a plate, place the slice of American cheese on the plate.
  4. Place the grits over the cheese and add butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Add the corned beef hash, hot sauce, more salt and pepper.
  6. Mix thoroughly.

Senate Gruel — Breakfast of Champions

Today as I start a new job officially off of Capitol Hill, I made my favorite old breakfast that I would eat early in the morning in the Dirksen Cafeteria back in 2007 — Senate Gruel.

Now there’s no real such thing as Senate Gruel, but that’s the name I gave for this horrible looking but delicious concoction.

Here’s how you make it:

  • Make 1/4 cup of Quaker Instant Grits
  • Cook 1/2 can of Corned Beef Hash
  • Place a slice of American Cheese in a 2-cup bowl with 1 tbsp of butter
  • Pour the grits and corned beef hash in the bowl
  • Add Hot Sauce of choice, salt, and pepper to taste.

In the bowl, it may look really gross, but I can assure you it’s delicious.