Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
Updated: Oct 1, 2020
Regardless what day of the week it is never to early to start thinking about a big weekend breakfast. Since my Saturday morning is pretty much a continuation of the work week, out the door early trying to get everything checked off the list that has been growing since Monday. Therefore big 'ol breakfasts in my house tend to be on Sunday paired with a Bloody Mary, oh yes "Bloody On Sunday". While I do tend to sleep in a bit on Sunday, my version of sleeping in is 6:15 am. Still, there is something very therapeutic about cooking in the morning to me. Preparing the first meal of the day, without clock watching, simultaneously packing lunch or deciding what to wear. The ability to drink coffee from the cup, not from the travel mug that it has been unceremoniously dumped during the work week. There is a certain stillness to those mornings when the world can wait and time is yours.
The sausage gravy portion of this is a recipe that you can switch up a bit by swapping out ingredients. If you want to use another variety of sausage such as chicken, turkey or chorizo that will work just fine. Chorizo is a great spicy punch if you are looking to spice things up. If you opt for turkey or chicken, you will need to plan on adding another type of fat to enhance your drippings. Additional fats you can use, margarine, ghee, butter, grapeseed oil, or bacon grease just to name a few. My go-to is bacon grease which has been a staple in every fridge I have ever lived with. Although I think in the microwave, precooked bacon world we are in many people are being deprived of a wonderful flavor enhancer. How else can you elevate canned green beans, without bacon grease? How would you add a touch of smokiness to your cornbread? It's even my secret ingredient in clam chowder, now it's out there, everyone knows. Speaking of flavor enhancers let's not forget the shivlets. For those unfamiliar with that terminology allow me to explain. Shivlets are those wonderful bits and pieces that are stuck to the bottom of your pan or skillet after you have browned something. When you deglaze a pan, by adding liquid to a hot pan, it steams, it sizzles and releases a burst of steam into the air. It also releases all the wonderful flavors that have intensified during the browning phase. No shivlet left behind always get those bits into your dish!
All-purpose White Lily Flour is my biscuit flour, it is a very soft red winter wheat and makes the best biscuits ever, with a little help from me. White Lily can be found in almost every store in the South, above and beyond the Mason Dixon line it is a struggle to find. When I was living in the Northeast my sister would bring up bags of it from Tennessee, and once for Mother's Day my daughters had some delivered, it was different kind of Mothers Day flower. If you have already scanned the recipe you are probably wondering what the big deal is about a Baker. The Baker is the last dough mash up from cutting biscuits, cookies, or rolls, the ugly duckling as it were. It can also be referred to as Cooks Privilege because when it's baked, you get to eat that one, that delectable moment standing over a batch of freshly baked goods, is yours for the taking, everyone else must wait.
1 lb bulk sausage (I prefer the sage)
1 Tbl Onion minced or grated
3 Tbl Flour
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning or sage
3 cups milk
In a large skillet or saute pan at least 3 qts, over medium high heat crumble sausage until it begins to brown, add poultry seasoning and onion cook for about 1 minute. There should be at least 3 tablespoons of drippings in the bottom of the pan, if not you can either add some butter, or my favorite is bacon grease to make up the difference. You will need that fat for the creation of the roux, make sure you bring that freshly added fat up to a nice bubbly sizzle. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage, then stir until well coated. Slowly add half of the milk to the mixture, then give the pan a good scrape so you get all the shivlets, aka the crusty bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in remaining milk, reduce to a simmer, stir occasionally until thickened about 20 minutes. Always start the gravy first, while the gravy thickens your biscuits will cook and it will be a photo finish every time.
2 cups White Lily All Purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 Tbl baking powder
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
Preheat over to 425 degrees, prepare cookie sheet or biscuit pan with parchment paper. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into a deep medium sized bowl. Add heavy cream, gently stir the dry and wet ingredients together with your fingers or a fork, until it comes together as a somewhat sticky dough. Sprinkle flour on a dry work surface, turn the dough onto the flour. Gently knead the dough, only about 5 times by folding it onto itself, use additional flour if it continues to stick to work surface. Either use a rolling pin, or the palms of your hands to flatten the dough out to about a 1 inch depth. Flour the edges of your cutter, and cut as many biscuits as you can, refolding scrapes together to cut additional biscuits, until if you are lucky you end up with a Baker. Place cut biscuits on prepared pan, bake 12 - 15 minutes just until they begin to look golden brown. Remove from oven and serve immediately. If you have made Sausage Gravy, split the biscuits open, ladle on the gravy, and enjoy.