Biscuits and Gravy

It probably comes as no surprise that I like biscuits and gravy.  I really like it.  My mom made it for me growing up, and I still make it the same way she did.  This Southern masterpiece is the ultimate comfort food and can be enjoyed any time of day – we actually had it for dinner tonight (mostly because when I told Blake I planned to make it for breakfast tomorrow, he made an audible awe sound because he will be at work then).  And so as some of you may know, my husband has a hard time telling me what he wants for dinner, so when I heard this, I was on it like white on rice – you don’t have to tell me twice!  Biscuits and gravy for dinner it was!

The gravy itself is pretty simple, but I am a glutton for punishment and opted to make the biscuits and sausage from scratch too.  I don’t make things complicated on myself just because – I’d be perfectly happy to use the ready-made stuff from the store, but the biscuits are loaded with trans fat and the sausage is full of MSG.  So until they open a Whole Foods close by or my Publix starts to carry natural versions of these things, I’ll keep on making them myself.  It feels good knowing exactly what you’re eating, and so I go the extra mile and it is well worth it!  The sausage making does require a meat grinder – I have an attachment to my KitchenAid mixer that works like a charm.

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Sausage Gravy

1 1/2 lbs breakfast sausage (recipe below)
3 tbsp butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
5 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) In a large dutch oven, cook sausage over medium high heat until browned, breaking it up with a spatula as you cook it.
2.) Add butter to sausage and allow it to melt.  Sprinkle flour evenly over sausage and mix well.  Add milk, a couple of cups at a time, stirring constantly and scrapping off any sausage that stuck to the bottom of the pot.
3.) Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes, or until gravy begins to thicken.  It will thicken even more once it cools.  Serve over buttermilk biscuits (recipe below).

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Consistency when milk is first added.

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Consistency after it has thickened.

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Buttermilk Biscuits

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
10 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold, cut into cubes
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
Extra flour for baking mat

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2.) Combine dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add cubes of butter and cut into flour mixture with a pastry cutter.  Cut until course meal texture is achieved.
3.) Add the buttermilk and mix just until combined.  Transfer to a floured baking mat.
4.) With the palms of your hands, kneed the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick.  Fold dough in half, and need again until 1/2 inch thick.  Repeat 5 times (this creates flaky layers).
5.) With a biscuit cutter, cut dough and transfer to baking stone (or cookie sheet).  Cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

I used a 3 inch biscuit cutter and it yielded 22 biscuits.

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For the breakfast sausage, I made more than was needed for this recipe, and froze the other half. Too much effort to not get two batches out of it!

Breakfast Sausage

3 lb pork butt
1 tbsp kosher salt
2 tsp pepper
4 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1.) Cut pork into 1″ cubes.  Do not discard the fat – this is needed to achieve the flavor of sausage!  Feed through meat grinder.  Keep the receiving bowl (that the meat is falling in to) in a larger bowl full of ice water to keep the pork cold.  Run pork through the meat grinder a second time.
2.) Add all seasonings to the pork.  Mix well with a potato masher.

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6 thoughts on “Biscuits and Gravy

  1. Pingback: What’s for Dinner? 4 Weeks of (different) Home-cooked Meals | Biscuits 'n Crazy

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