Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sausage Gravy

Biscuits and gravy is not entirely uncommon in our house.  It was one of my favourite meals that we had when I was a kid.  My mom's father was from Tennessee and she spent summers there as a kid, watching the women cook giant Southern meals from morning until night.  When I was younger and there were four of us kids to feed, money was tight, so we had a version of Shit On A Shingle that was made with Buddig's beef lunch meat all chopped up in it, over Bisquick drop biscuits.  I loved it.  Once I got older and the older boys had moved out, my dad started making his gravy with sausage, which needless to say, was much better.  Growing up in California, Justin says he never even heard of "biscuits and gravy" as a kid until he'd joined the army at 17 and was introduced to their version of S.O.S.  But once I moved in with him, it became a more regular meal in our home... breakfast, dinner, it didn't matter.

Today, we decided to change it up.  Instead of our regular, quick Bisquick drop biscuits, Justin the Mighty and Awesome Baker I made some old school Southern biscuits... made with lard and rolled out on the counter top.  They came out so-so.  I'll post how I did the recipe, and though they weren't bad, they were kind of small and needed something else, so it's a work in progress until I get it right.  And instead of making my basic sausage gravy, I tried a few new things and am definitely happy with the results!  I always just ground the breakfast sausage up and no matter how much I tried chopping it up with the wooden spoon in the pan, or adding water while cooking, it stayed pretty chunky and I just wanted to get it a little finer for the gravy.  So I threw it into the food processor after it was cooked.  Perfect!  Also, been on a bit of a shallot kick, so added that to the gravy, as well as some Gruyere cheese just to be experimental.  It kicks ass!  I really wanted to make my own breakfast sausage, but it was getting late when I started cooking, so I just bought some Jimmy Dean sausage and spiced it up.  Here it is... guaranteed to cause a heart attack... our version of Biscuits and Gravy!

For music, well... that was pretty easy.  B&G make me think of my mom's family, from Tennessee.  Tennessee makes me think of Nashville and Memphis.  Those towns make me think of rockabilly music, which led me straight to psychobilly and The Reverend.  -jen

  • 2 pounds breakfast sausage
  • 2 teaspoons rubbed sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 large shallots, diced fine
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Caldo de Pollo (or chicken bouillon)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (depending on taste)
  • dash of hot sauce
  • 1/2 gallon of whole milk
  • 1.5 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded fine
In a bowl, mix sausage with sage, 1 teaspoon thyme, marjoram, celery salt, red pepper flakes and Worcestershire sauce.  In a large skillet on medium-high heat, cook sausage until all pink is gone.  Set aside to cool.  Once cool, place in food processor and pulse until crumbled to desire size.

In a large skillet, on medium-high heat, sautee shallots and butter until shallots are tender.  Add flour and whisk until smooth, making a roux.  Cook, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes.  While whisking, add milk and bring to a boil while continuing to whisk to break up any lumps.  Once boiling, turn heat to medium and add Gruyere in small handfuls, whisking until cheese is fully incorporated in sauce before adding next handful.  When cheese is fully melted in sauce, stir in the sausage and serve.

For the biscuits, I used Paula Deen's recipe, only I switched up the butter with lard, and the milk with buttermilk.  Like I said... they were definitely edible!  But I think I rolled out the dough a little thin and the flavour was missing something.  So I'm going to tweek it a few times and see what I can come up with.

1 comment:

  1. You are killin' me here! It's 6:46 and THIS is what I want for breakfast. I'll have to wait till the weekend, I guess. No time to make it before work. But that's an excellent reason to play hooky!