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GRAVY? For buscuits and gravy?

I fell in love with this dish in the South. I think the general recipe is to brown and render sausages, add flour and whole milk to the sausage and fat, and season to taste.

But I keep striking out. What's the best/easiest recipe?

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  1. This woman has a lot of great recipes on her food blog. Here is her recipe for B&G:
    http://thepioneerwomancooks.com/2007/...
    She keeps her sausage whole whereas my dad always made it by throwing sausage pieces back into the gravy. But the technique is pretty much the same.

    1. You've got the ingredients. Might be a matter of technique. Here's the way my great-grandmother taught me to do it:

      Crumble a pound of breakfast sausage into a skillet (pref. cast iron) and cook over medium heat until well-browned. Remove from skillet.

      Adjust the amount of fat in the skillet to 2 tablespoons. Reduce heat to low, whisk in 4 tablespoons of flour, and cook for a few minutes.

      Remove skillet from the heat and gradually whisk in 2 cups dairy (bluejohn, milk, cream, or some combination thereof). Return to medium heat and continue whisking until the gravy thickens.

      Salt and pepper to taste, add the sausage back in, and serve over hot biscuits.

      14 Replies
      1. re: alanbarnes

        Is the "crumbled pound of sausage" raw? (I assume so...and that I just twist each link in the middle to break the casing and squeeze out the raw meat.)

        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

          In my house, we always make it with ground breakfast sausage and not sausage in the casing. That's how grandma taight me. Something along the lines of a Jimmy Dean pork sausage. Now, I am totally craving B&G. Mmmm.

          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

            Definitely raw. I use bulk sausage, not sausage in a casing. Your local butcher may make it, or you can buy it in a plastic chub (Jimmy Dean brand is the most widely distributed).

            You can also make it yourself; it's just seasoned ground pork. Salt, pepper, and sage are a good start; allspice, thyme, bay leaf, and paprika are also welcome additions. I use Julia Child's all-purpose herb and spice mix--there's always a small jar of the stuff in my cupboard. It's two parts each ground bay leaf, clove, mace, nutmeg, paprika, and thyme, one part each ground allspice, cinnamon, and saovry, and a little white pepper.

            1. re: Hal Laurent

              It's the stuff that's left after you take all the cream from milk. According to my forebears, good for hogslop and not much else. Now grocery stores sell it as skim milk.

              1. re: alanbarnes

                no kidding...bluejohn....now there's a little history for ya...thanks for sharing!

                1. re: alanbarnes

                  We called it "blue milk", and yes, it went to make slop for the hogs.

                  1. re: Sharuf

                    When I was a kid and lived in Japan we were required to buy all of our foodstuff from the base commissary. The only milk available to us was reconstituted dry milk. The name on the carton was Blue Seal. After several years there we were reassigned to the US and on our first layover in Hawaii when my parents ordered milk for us we could not drink it. We had become so accustomed to Blue Seal that regular whole milk was like trying to drink heavy cream.

                    1. re: Candy

                      I fondly (?) remember the stuff you talk about. It was produced for the military and the carton was labled "Filled Milk". Nasty stuff. My kids grew up drinking Japanese milk because we chose to live on the economy for the 10 years we were there.

                      I swear, Japanese whole milk is higher in fat than it's American cousin.

                  2. re: alanbarnes

                    Another name for that is whey. :) What is buttermilk again? gotta look that up. :)

                    1. re: Morganna

                      If you take milk and turn it into cheese, the liquid that's left behind is whey. If you take cream and make it into butter, the liquid that's behind is buttermilk.

                      1. re: Morganna

                        It's also known as clabbered milk. It's actually low-fat despite the name. It can also be made at home with a little acidity and low-fat milk, but I'm not sure of the exact ratios.

                      2. re: alanbarnes

                        My grandma used skim to feed the cats with the left overs. eewww...bluejohn, very funny

                  3. Here is my SIL's recipe and it is very tasty!

                    Sausage gravy

                    Brown 1 lb bulk sausage until crumbled
                    Chop a stalk of green onion (only the green part)
                    Add onions to browned meat and cook for a minute or so
                    Remove sausage, leaving grease in pan, Set aside
                    Add some oil to drippings and 2 - 3 tblsp flour (keep a ratio of 1 tblsp oil to 1 tblsp flour)
                    Brown the flour to make a roux. It needs to be good and brown and not smell like flour.
                    Add milk and bring to boil, whisking continuously
                    Bring heat down and cook to desired consistency
                    Add salt, pepper and worchestershire sauce to taste. Put sausage back in to warm it.
                    Serve with biscuits.
                    Don't get fat! Use only for holidays - it's addictive. LOL!

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: danhole

                      Thanks danhole.

                      Is the bulk sausage raw or cooked? By "green onion" do you also mean scallion?

                      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                        The bulk sauasge is raw. Browning it is what gives you the grease you need to make the gravy.
                        I've never heard of green onions or worchestershire sauce in B&G before. I wonder if it is a regional variation (I'm Texan). Danhole, what part of the country is your SIL from?

                        1. re: Honey Bee

                          Honey Bee,

                          What do you season yours with (other than salt and pepper)?

                          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                            That's it. Salt and lots(!) of fresh ground pepper. If I really want to get fancy then I'll add sage and hope grandma doesn't scowl at me looking down from heaven.

                            1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                              Generally sausage gravy is seasoned minimally, which I find a little too bland and rich. You can cheat a little with seasoned salt, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne. It can also do well with a bit of sage and/or thyme to bring out the flavor of the sausages.

                              1. re: JungMann

                                My favorite, favorite combination of flavors breakfast sausage sage and brown sugar. They're amazing together.

                                1. re: JungMann

                                  I get around this by using spicy breakfast sausage. :)

                            2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                              The bulk sausage is raw when you put it in the hot skillet and, after you cook it until it is browned and crumbly, it is cooked. If you buy sausage links, you would slice the links to get the sausage out. "Green onions" refers to small baby onions sold in bunches with their green tops attached.

                              It would help in all of these recipes if you heat the milk before pouring it into the skillet.

                              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

                                Raw sausage, browned and crumbled. The green onions are long stalks of green with onion bulbs on the end. Same difference as scallions I suppose. You can add as much as you want. I like to have a lot of it, but my DD doesn't like it at all. The worchestershire gives it a little kick. I don't use very much, but it isn't as good without it.

                                We are all born Texans, right here in Houston.

                                1. re: danhole

                                  Wow, Houston. Guess I need to branch out in my B&G eating.

                                  1. re: Honey Bee

                                    Like the old commercial says "Try it, you'll like it." I had never had it that way before but it beats all other hands down, for me anyway!

                                  2. re: danhole

                                    Green onions in sausage gravy? What will you wacky Texicans think of next?

                                    I'm gonna try that this weekend.

                                    1. re: danhole

                                      I think green onions are delicious and add so much flavor! I have never added them to my gravy, and gosh now I think I've been missing something! Will try this.... it is a drizzly mildly wet cool day here in no cal and the b & g is looking so tempting.....
                                      Do you saute them first?

                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        You don't saute them, you add them to the browned sausage and cook for a minute or two. If you wanted them cooked more you could add before the sausage was completely browned, but I like them cooked like the recipe calls for.

                                  3. re: danhole

                                    "don't get fat--use only for the holidays"

                                    LOL...damned straight...between the sausage, gravy & biscuits, it's practically a total-fat meal...but oh-so-good...I also use Jimmy Dean (sage) sausage, crumbled up in skillet, browned...I just add the flour to the pan with the browned meat in there...it melts right in...then let that cook for a few minutes, stirring, to lose the floury taste; add in the milk, let thicken and then I always add a few dashes of tabasco. I believe I was inspired by The Frugal Gourmet on PBS way back in the '80's; he cooked it without taking the browned meat out of the pan.

                                    1. re: danhole

                                      Mine is basically the same, but I like a little cayenne powder to punch it up a little.

                                    2. I hate messing with lard or solid shortening when making biscuits. I also hate cleaning the measuring cups smeared with lard or solid shortening. Finally, I hate dealing with trying to roll out sticky dough. It sticks to my hands, the rolling pin, the board, etc. You
                                      have to add more flour to the bread board, making another mess.

                                      This recipe avoids all of that by using canola oil as a shortening. The dough in this recipe is not sticky. It's easy to handle. I don't even use a rolling pin. I just press it flat with my hands. I never seem to have buttermilk on hand. This recipe uses milk and vinegar as a substitute. I always have those in stock.

                                      Even with those shortcuts this recipe makes flaky delicious biscuits.
                                      Give it a try.

                                      I call them No Doh! Biscuits

                                      3 cups all purpose flour
                                      4 teaspoons baking powder
                                      3 teaspoons granulated sugar
                                      3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
                                      3/4 teaspoon salt

                                      1/2 cup canola oil

                                      3/4 cup milk
                                      2 teaspoons distilled vinegar

                                      Preheat oven to 400 F.

                                      Measure flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar and salt into a stand mixer bowl. Mix on low for 15-seconds.

                                      With mixer on low, add canola oil slowly to dry ingredients. Set mixer to medium and
                                      mix for 30-seconds or until mixture looks like dry cornmeal.

                                      Stir vinegar into milk. Add milk/vinegar to flour mixture and mix on medium for 15-seconds.

                                      Turn dough out onto bread board and knead several times. Roll dough out to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thickness.

                                      Cut with biscuit cutter and place on baking sheet.

                                      Bake on middle oven rack at 400 F. for 20-minutes.

                                      Makes 1-dozen, 2-1/2 inch diameter biscuits.

                                      1. My American cousins introduced me to this. OMG delicious.
                                        Sorry to do this but if you're not already heading for the kitchen to make these check out this picture and you will be.

                                        http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: Mila

                                          WOW. Food perfection!

                                          How did you cook the potatoes?

                                          1. re: Mila

                                            OMG that looks divine! I love potatoes!

                                            1. re: Mila

                                              Holy Crap, Mila! My mouth is WATERING!! ;-)

                                              1. re: WildSwede

                                                I take no credit. When I was looking for a recipe I found this picture and nearly fell out of my chair.
                                                It's hard to replicate in Canada with no Jimmy Dean sausage but I keep trying, then going to the gym, then trying again, then...

                                                1. re: Mila

                                                  Mila, I have felt your pain, and finally resorted to making my own sausage, biscuits and gravy. Talk about heart-attack heaven... but my tastebuds and tummy will die happy.

                                                  I think I got this Jimmy Dean knockoff on this board from Davvud. I use more red pepper flakes than called for, as I like my sausage spicy!!

                                                  16 ounces ground pork
                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                  1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
                                                  1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage
                                                  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                                                  1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
                                                  1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
                                                  1/4 teaspoon coriander
                                                  1/4 teaspoon savoury

                                                  I think I also followed Davvud's instructions for the gravy and it was perfect. But this thread has basically the same approach, so I won't bother posting it.

                                                  Here's the biscuit recipe I use -- takes no time to throw together.

                                                  3 cups all purpose flour
                                                  2 tablespoons sugar (cut back for savoury biscuits)
                                                  4 teaspoons baking powder
                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                  1 teaspoon baking soda
                                                  3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
                                                  1 cup buttermilk (2 – 3 Tbs more)

                                                  Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in large bowl to blend. Using fingertips, rub 3/4 cup chilled butter into dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir until evenly moistened. Using 1/4 cup dough for each biscuit, drop biscuits onto baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until biscuits are golden brown on top, about 15 minutes.

                                                  1. re: TorontoJo

                                                    Perfect, thanks for typing that out TorontoJo. Am printing off the recipe and will try this weekend. I have always used my basic "Five Roses" tea biscuit recipe which looks the same as yours, minus the sugar.

                                                    Have a great weekend.

                                                    1. re: Mila

                                                      You're welcome, good luck -- the cool fall weather has me craving B&G now. I should note that chances are your sausage will be much leaner than a package of Jimmy Dean, so you won't get a lot of fat when you cook it. I just add some butter to the pan before making the roux for the gravy to make up for the lack of fat.