Combine the oil and flour in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir slowly and constantly until the roux is the color of chocolate, 15 to 20 minutes.
Season the meat with Essence. Add the roux and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly to coat the meat with the roux. Add the onions and celery, season with salt and cayenne, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the bay leaves and wine. Stir for 1 minute, until a paste forms. Add the water and stir to blend. Add the pearl onions, carrots, turnips, potatoes, garlic, and thyme, season with salt and black pepper, bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the meat is very tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Serve over the grits.
Yield: 4 servings