Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sausage, Biscuits & Gravy

Here it is. The mother lode of all blog posts. The recipe for sausage gravy. Oh my, yes. Why so special, you ask? Well, to me it's the mother lode of all breakfasts because this is my absolute favorite breakfast of all time in the history of ever. I could eat this every single day. Of course, that would be quite detrimental to my health, but I'd sure be happy while doing it! My mom makes amazing, delicious biscuits and gravy. I grew up with this obsession with the dish because of her finesse at making it. However, being that I no longer live with my mother, getting to enjoy any of her biscuits and gravy is a very, very rare treat, sadly. Very sadly.

But, my hubs knows how much I love the stuff and took pity on my soul. So a few years ago, for Mother's Day, he decided to teach himself how to make it. And teach himself he did! He is now a true champion biscuits and gravy maker. (Of course I knew/know how to make it also, but it's just not the same as when someone prepares it for you with love because they know how much you adore it...besides, if I'm being honest here, I would have to admit that my hubs' biscuits and sausage gravy have far surpassed any of the ones I've ever made. I admit it!! I'm a southerner down to the bone, born in Georgia, raised in Florida...and my LA-born, Asian, grew-up-on-Vietnames-and-Chinese-food hubs...has well and truly beaten me. And I'm perfectly ok with that, in fact I'm great with it! He really is the best. I'm a lucky girl.) 
On with the show!

Makes 8 Servings

1 lb roll of sausage
1/4-1/2 cup flour
1 stick butter
3-4 cups milk
2 teaspoons black pepper
Salt, if needed


Brown sausage in a hot skillet, stirring constantly, until all browned and crumbled. Place the stick of butter in with the sausage and stir until melted. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the sausage/butter combination and stir well, cooking and stirring for 5 minutes. Slowly pour in 3 cups of milk, a little at a time, whisking briskly with a wire whisk to ensure no lumps. If it looks too thick, stir in the extra cup of milk. If it looks too thin, sift in more flour, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook and stir for another 10 minutes or so, until gravy is thickened and bubbling. Stir in pepper, taste and add salt a pinch at a time if needed until you reach desired flavor. Serve over hot split biscuits topped with a sausage patty.

Ok, now I really need some biscuits and gravy. Problem is, the hubs is at work! Whatever shall I do?! So this recipe is just for the gravy, but we serve ours along with sausage patties--usually we have another pound roll of Jimmy Dean or Tennessee Pride breakfast sausage on hand that we slice into half-inch slices and brown over low heat with a little water to keep them from becoming dried out until they're nicely browned on the outside and no longer pink on the inside--split one open to find out. Usually takes about 10 minutes, so we let the gravy sit on the warming burner to stay nice and warm. If you don't have a warming burner, you can let it sit in the oven or on simmer, just be sure to stir every few minutes to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

As for the biscuits, it's personal preference. I must admit that even I use frozen biscuit dough (GASP!!) every once in awhile when I don't want to take the time to make homemade. Or we use one of our other two go-to biscuit recipes. One is my mom's Light and Tasty Biscuits which I absolutely adore of course, having grown up on those. And my other favorite is Brown-Eyed Baker's Buttermilk Biscuits. It just depends which type you prefer. My mom's recipe uses shortening. BEB's recipe uses butter and also she gives directions for making hers in the food processor for no-fail, perfect dough, every time. The food processor is SO easy, so often times that's been my go-to for biscuits. 

If you choose to make my mom's biscuits (or any biscuit recipe, really...), which are super tasty and moist and fluffy, here are some tips to ensure success! 

  • Make sure you use always fresh baking powder--it can go "stale" and become less potent, resulting in flatter biscuits. 

  • Don't overmix, this will give you tough biscuits, not the light and fluffy ones we're after--absolutely handle the dough as little as possible. It's touchy, it doesn't like to be messed with too much. :) 

  • Thirdly, always let the oven completely preheat to 475. The key to tall, perfectly risen biscuits is a super hot oven. The steam in the dough is what causes the biscuits to rise. 

  • And the last tip I have for perfect biscuits is, don't roll the dough too thin! Barely press it into shape with your hands or a rolling pin, but keep it no less than 3/4" thick, I sometimes do a whole inch thick. 

So now that you're overwhelmed with information :) why don't you give it a try? Bake up some biscuits, whip up some sausage gravy and indulge in my absolute favorite breakfast recipe in the history of the universe. :) I know, it will probably require extra time on the treadmill or at Zumba. But it's worth it, I promise. Have an awesome day!!

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