Craving some down-home Southern fare? Serve this perfect combo any time of the day.
Make the grits: Place grits in a bowl, and cover with cold water by about 3 inches. Stir grits so that bits of husk rise to the top; pour off top layer of water. Strain through a fine sieve, and transfer to a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in 5 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, whisking, until beginning to thicken. Reduce heat, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally and scraping bottom and sides of pan with a wooden spoon, until thick and creamy, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, for 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the shrimp: Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. Cook garlic, onion, and bell pepper in bacon fat, stirring occasionally, until just tender but not browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Season shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper. Raise heat to medium-high; push vegetables to edge of skillet. Add oil, and heat until shimmering. Sear shrimp in a single layer for 2 minutes. Flip, and sear for 1 minute. Push shrimp to edge of skillet; sprinkle flour into center. Cook, stirring flour into vegetable-shrimp mixture, for 2 minutes. Add stock. Simmer, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, and stir in reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
Just before serving, heat grits over medium-low. Stir in cheese and butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve shrimp over grits on warmed plates.
Grits tend to set quickly. To ensure that they reach the table while still smooth and creamy, serve them on warmed plates or bowls. You can heat them in a 200-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes.