i did not grow up on biscuits and gravy. too bad, right?! i wish i could remember where i was the first time i tasted this winning combination….. i’m sure it was in a restaurant, within the last 10 years, with my husband, who has helped me come to love foods i had never known, or understood how wonderful they could be (hello chicken-fried steak!!).
but biscuits, i did grow up on biscuits. my mom’s, but also my little brother’s: he makes the best in the world. his are tall, towering examples of perfectly leavened, pillowy landing spots for butter and jam or gravy. so super flaky. i want one right now!!
i remember my mom scolding me as a child when i cut into one of her homemade biscuits with a knife (split open, the better to soak up melty butter!). she would say “using a knife to split a biscuit is like telling the chef her biscuits are rock hard.” i’ve broken that habit, but i don’t really care how people split my biscuits. (that sounded like an innuendo!) i just care that they eat them. and love them.
homemade biscuits (and homemade sausage gravy, for that matter) are pretty simple. there’s really no excuse for taking any short cuts with mixes or canned doughs, since in the end they all kind of require the same amount of non-work. i also made this gravy foolproof. it took me a couple tries to get it the perfect consistency of thick, yet ladle-able, but i’ve done all the testing for you :) my gravy also has a tiny kick of cayenne, which is perfect with the tons of porky breakfast sausage flavor. use turkey breakfast sausage if you prefer. both are great here! buttermilk biscuits are what my mom and brother make, but i so rarely have buttermilk on hand….. sad. so i’ve been using a recipe which calls for plain milk, and i’ve become quite fond of it.
(of course i had to have an egg on top of this dinner. i love breakfast for dinner… especially on a rainy night like we’ve been having here in the valley… isn’t it wonderful? but the gravy is a wonderful sauce all on it’s own… a warm blanket of creamy goodness on crisp, yet flakey biscuits. grab an awesome horror/comedy movie and DIG IN!)
baking powder biscuitsserves 4 adapted from Betty Crocker
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup shortening (or butter, or lard, or a combination thereof)
- 3/4 cups milk
whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. add shortening, and using a pastry blender or two knives pulling in opposite directions, cut the shortening into the flour mixture. when it’s ready for the next step, the mixture should resemble pea-sized crumbs.
add the milk, and stir until dough comes together. turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently just a few times. pat into a square or rectangle, fold over in half, and pat again into a square about 1-inch thick. cut into biscuits about , and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
bake at 450 for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. serve piping hot!
sausage gravyserves 4
- 1 lb pork or turkey breakfast sausage
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk, warmed in the microwave or on the stovetop
- pinch of cayenne and ground mustard
brown the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. remove to a paper-towel lined plate. drain off all but a smidge of the drippings from the skillet. add the butter and melt, then whisk in the flour and cook for about two minutes.
whisk in the milk (warming it first keeps it smooth and never grainy!), reduce heat, and cook until thickened; about 10 minutes. sprinkle with cayenne and mustard, and pepper (i found the sausage to be salty enough), and whisk occasionally.
add sausage back to skillet and stir to combine. ladle over split biscuits. this gravy will thicken further as it cools. top everything with a fried or poached egg, if desired!
leftovers rating: B
If you have leftovers, which is highly unlikely, the gravy can be rewarmed gently in the microwave or on the stove. the biscuits reheat well in the toaster — don’t nuke ‘em.