4 cups spring or filtered water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarse stone-ground white grits, not instant or quick
1 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the water, 1 tablespoon of butter, and the salt to a boil. Add the grits gradually, stirring constantly. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and the grits are thickened, about 15 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the milk and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally to prevent the grits from sticking. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup milk and continue to simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and the grits are tender and thick, about 40 minutes. Stir in the pepper and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
Note: The better the quality of grits the better the finished dish. Here is a time an heirloom product would be the right choice such as Anson Mills grits.