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Gravy, as in biscuits and gravy

I'm making these as part of Christmas brunch. I think I'm going to use the Cooks Illustrated buttermilk biscuit recipes since they've been recommended on these boards. But, as the gravy goes, is there more to it than sausage or other meats in white sauce? That's what I've always done but has anyone done anything different? I saw the red eye sauce w/ coffee that Alton Brown made but don't want that. Thanks!

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  1. Cream gravy with or without suasage is pretty traditional. Red eye gravy is fine with ham but would not be a good sauce for biscuits. If you did not want sausage you could substitute dried chipped beef as use in what some call SOS or others call creamed chipped beef on toast. I believe when it is SOS ground beef is used.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      I've never had red eye but it doesn't sound good to me. I might just go with the plain cream sauce w/ sausages. I've never made it for my in-laws before. Thanks!

      1. re: chowser

        Red eye gravy isn't for biscuits and gravy--it goes with ham, as Candy said, and especially with country ham. Country ham, beaten biscuit, and red eye gravy--mmm mmm, that is southern eating. Don't knock red eye gravy till you've tried it: it sounds weird, but it's really delicious.

        1. re: cristina

          I've eaten red-eye gravy on biscuits all my life!

          1. re: revsharkie

            same here. If you have a couple of spoonfuls of red-eye on the same plate as your biscuits, you're going to have red eye gravy on your biscuits, whether you call yourself eating it with the ham or not.

            1. re: wabbitslayer

              Red eye gravy is also great on grits. When I make REG I always make grits.

              DT

        2. re: chowser

          You know, I've had red eye gravy once. And, I despised it. But, come to think of it, I had it back in the '60s. As open-minded as I am on so many foods, I have to say, I'm a little ashamed of myself. I'm going to try it again. Maybe several times. Anybody have a recipe that everyone would like?

      2. Would you mind sharing a recope for sausage and gravy? I would love to do biscuits and gravy sometime in the next few weeks but have never tried it.

        14 Replies
        1. re: nissenpa

          I don't ever use a recipe for that, just because growing up in the South, you just stand and watch your grandmother do it, but traditional sausage gravy in my family is:
          Cook the sausage and while it's draining on paper towels, pour off all but about 1 Tbs of the fat from the sausage in the pan. Add about 1 - 2 Tbs of flour and stir until it's smooth. Then just add milk or cream to the pan and stir to incorporate the flour roux. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until it's thickened. Ta-daaa! Man, I love that stuff.

          1. re: nissenpa

            I don't use recipe--I cook up the sausages, use the oil to make a roux (adding flour and browning somewhat), add milk/cream, salt, pepper, whatever spices catch my eye, thicken, then add back the sausages. Being from up north, that might make any Southerner cringe.

              1. re: Andiereid

                LOL, I'm prone to impulse spicing.

                1. re: chowser

                  Yeah, from your OP I thought the only thing you might want is some seasoning. It depends on how seasoned your sausage is. If I do this with cooked chicken or turkey, I season.

                  1. re: yayadave

                    Yes, I use fully seasoned sausage. I've never thought to do it w/ chicken or turkey--something to keep in mind. Thanks!

                2. re: Andiereid

                  I'm a Northerner, born and bred and adding spices (other than some extra pepper or cayenne) to sausage gravy is making me cringe as well.

                  Are you augmenting the spices in the sausage by adding something like sage/thyme or are we talking other spices entirely?

                  But maybe the roux is a Northern thing. I always separate the fat to make a roux, add the milk to make bechamel and then add the cooked sausage. When it comes to saucemaking, my roux has to be pure fat (no water) to acheive the smoothest possible sauce. Drippings are invariably a combo of fat/meat juices. Unless it's a slurry, adding flour to water makes me cringe as well.

                  1. re: scott123

                    Dried red pepper flakes, tabasco maybe. I've never done it but if I had chipotle, I might be tempted to throw some in. I use some kind of flavored sausage so no more sage or thyme. A roux is a very southern thing--it's how you make gumbo. Sounds like the technique is pretty much the same with the gravy.

                    1. re: chowser

                      No! Not Chipotle! Plain gravy! Plain gravy! <G>

                      1. re: Andiereid

                        Okay, you've convinced me--salt and fresh ground pepper. :-)

                        1. re: chowser

                          Yes! And that's all! :) Well, if you want to be authentic, anyway...

                      2. re: chowser

                        Had you said something completely foreign like oregano or cinnamon, I would have screamed bloody murder, but chipotle... eh, whatever floats your boat :) Chipotle is predominantly just heat and smoke. Heat is a perfectly acceptable addition and, although I wouldn't add it personally, smoke is not that foreign. Heck, elsewhere on this thread, smoke (in the form of bacon) is being discussed without anyone making a fuss.

                        Chipotle... sure, go for it! :)

                        As far as roux being a southern thing... Dark Cajun roux is an extremely Southern thing, but I have NEVER met a Southerner that didn't add the flour to the drippings to make sausage gravy. Drippings + flour don't qualify as a roux in my book.

                          1. re: cristina

                            Hey, if you've got a problem with chipotle, go complain about the bacon. It's only fair.

                  1. re: nissenpa

                    We make biscuits and gravy at least once a month. It is one of our favoirte meals, breakfast or dinner. I do what most have suggested. I brown sausage, but I dont drain it unless it is just real fatty. Add two to three spoons of flour and cook a few min in the sausage. I add a can of evaporated milk along with regular 2% milk, or if I am in the mood some cream. Let it come to a boil for its full thickening potential. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                  2. I'm untraditional here -- even though I grew up in the South, I prefer brown gravy for biscuits. For that you need meat drippings. Usually mine is made from the drippings and juices that I save from a roasted chicken.

                    Sarah C

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: kittyfood

                      That sounds MUCH better! I can't deal with that white gravy.

                      1. re: prunefeet

                        Actually, I make sausage gravy pretty much as Kari described, but it's not white. It's always a tan color--darker than my chicken gravy, in fact. I brown the sausage, using Bob Evans breakfast sausage, then sprinkle about 2 Tablespoons flour right over the cooked crumbled sausage, then continue to cook it, stirring constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes until the flour is browned, then add canned evaporated milk (which is beige in color, not white), then season to taste with salt, cracked black pepper, and sometimes hot pepper flakes. My mother-in-law, who used to add Kitchen Bouquet to sausage gravy because she won't eat white gravy, even approves of the color!

                      2. re: kittyfood

                        I'll do a combination of juices/drippings and cream sometimes, too. I've also used boxed broth if I didn't have juices/drippings.

                      3. My husband is the gravy maker and his secret is cooking up a slice or two of bacon along with the sausage. You can't actually taste it, but it adds a new dimension to the unctousness (if that's the word) of the sausage. If you can find Jimmy Dean Bold, use that.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: eimac

                          I live off of bacon. Does DH cook bacon until it is crispy? How well done should I get the bacon?

                          1. re: eimac

                            Does he use the bacon fat to make the roux?

                            1. re: chowser

                              He doesn't do roux, ( sorry, couldn't resist) He chops the bacon and browns it with the sausage, pours off some of the dripping, adds milk or cream and then sprinkles flour over the top and lets gravy simmer until thick. I usually get Wondra but he uses regular flour also. Seasonings ( salt and pepper only) go on when we each take our own since he likes things much saltier than I do.