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Aug 10, 2009 10:41 AM

biscuits and gravy

After sampling this dish for years everytime I went to the American Southeast, I made it for breakfast today.

I wouldn't mind knowing more about this dish and getting a few different recipes to try.

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  1. For the biscuits, all I can tell you is that White Lily self-rising flour was my best friend, and now that (a) they've changed the content and (b) stopped selling it in California I am one sad boy. But if you have a handle on biscuit-making, the only barrier to success is inexperience. You just have to learn to use a very light hand and not over-work the dough, ever.

    As for the gravy, as far as Nashville is concerned I'm a heretic, since gravy there is expected to be utterly white, and I want some color. What I do is crumble up about a quarter-pound of sausage and fry that until it's well-browned. Then I sprinkle on two tablespoons of flour and grind plenty of black pepper over that. Stir it with a small cooking fork until the flour gets somewhere between gold and brown, then pour in a cup and a half of warm milk, stirring constantly. No need to whisk, since the flour is well-distributed amongst the meat and is in no danger of going lumpy on you. After it's cooked and thick, taste for seasoning - it probably won't need any - and add more milk if you want the gravy a bit thinner. This is enough for two, maybe three. Any leftover gravy keeps very well covered and refrigerated - I often make too much on purpose for that very reason. Or did back when I could eat like that!

    10 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          No such thing as "too much" gravy.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            That is "Capital T Truth" if ever I heard it.


          2. re: Will Owen

            Red eye gravy? Chocolate gravy?

            1. re: Will Owen

              I bought White Lilly back frorm Alabama (to California) when I was there. Didn't know it was changed.

              1. re: Will Owen

                Anyone here tried Southern Biscuit flour? I have used this and found it to be a good sr flour. Also I grew up in the Mountains near Boone NC. I will tell you that you can search the world over and you will not find a better biscuit baking population that the mountain folks . My Grandad made the absolute best biscuits I have ever had. Grandmother had a stroke so for him to get his biscuits , he had to learn at the age or around 73. Honestly , you could not pick up one without it falling apart ( IOW the top was so tender and flakey it cam right off.) i have tried for years to make mine like his and I finally figured it was his gentle touch that did it. As far as gravy goes I know everybody talks about sausage but I have always made mine with bacon drippings. It makes a lighter gravy with a fantastic taste. You can also make a very good gravy after frying chicken using the chicken drippings , of coarse this is only good if you are wanting fried chicken with biscuits and gravy. Finally my favorite gravy is made from fried porkchops, Not a lot of grease in a porkchop but you will get enough to make a very good gravy , serve this with the porkchops along with some cooked apples and biscuits. Dang ,I m headed to the kitchen....................

                1. re: Darin Younce

                  >>>>""" i have tried for years to make mine like his and I finally figured it was his gentle touch that did it."""<<<


                2. re: Will Owen

                  Old post, but new to me!! Your gravy recipe sounds easy & wonderful...going to make some for those biscuits that I learned from you all. My gravy was always decent, but nothing you could crow about. As always, thanks for posting.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Hadn't made biscuits and gravy in forever and lost my gravy recipe. This seemed about right, and indeed turned out a wonderful dish, although I did use a good deal more sausage. Thanks, Will.

                  2. I use the Jimmy Dean Hot sausage. Depending on how much sausage I want in my gravy, my standard proportions are 1 lb. sausage to 3 cups of milk. Adjust as you like. For each cup of milk, add 2 Tbsp. Wondra, mix well and add to the previously fried up sausage in your pan. Salt to taste. Add more pepper if you like, but the hot sausage doesn't really need it. Regular sausage will need lots of pepper.
                    Serve over halved biscuits.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: pcdarnell

                      In NC we make it basically the same way. Hot break fast sausage crumbled, browned, removed from pan. stir in flour, for a few minutes, whisk in milk, add sausage back and allow the gravy to thicken. There should be no color other than that lovely white gravy, sausage, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper for those signature little red flecks.

                      White Lily is essential. I live in Philadelphia now and have my mom ship bags of it!

                    2. I learned about different variations when I asked this a couple of years ago:


                      1. Add to Will Owen's prep - some chopped hard boiled egg, crumbled bacon, and some sliced mushrooms and chopped onions (saute in bacon grease).

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: hannaone

                          Well, see, I was assuming eggs alongside, but all of those things would be good too. I've never really understood why b&g is always flogged as a standalone item; when I have'em at home, they're always on a plate with eggs, hashbrowns or grits, and probably some bacon, too. One thing that bugs me about breakfast in most of the South is yer little bowl of grits here, your little plate of b&g there, your other plate with toast (??) and then eggs and meat on a larger one. At least the diners and coffee shops here in SoCal understand the need to pile everything one one - for starters, that's the only way you can get gravy poured over everything!

                          1. re: Will Owen

                            One large platter for everything is a must.
                            Even with the boiled eggs added into the gravy I take a couple over easy on top of hash browns and a couple strips of bacon.
                            Maybe a pancake or two on the side though so I don't get my syrup and gravy mixed together.

                            1. re: Will Owen

                              In that thread I linked to above, we talked about eggs with biscuits and gravy. I got the best poached eggs w/ runny centers by dropping the egg right into the gravy and heating gently in the oven.

                              Everything on one plate--maybe it's a southern thing but I've met more people in Virginia who hate their food touching than anywhere else.

                              1. re: chowser

                                It's a control thing. We'll only mix what we want mixed and when we want it mixed. (Va. born & raised, but loves a big sloppy plateful of eggs and fixins).

                          2. I was raised in New England without a drop of Southern in me so I don't know about what is authentic. However, I love Alton Brown's sawmill gravy. It is the white kind with a bunch of sausage (I use Jones bulk 1 lb sausage roll found at any grocer near me, either found refrigerated with the sausages in the meat dept. or found frozen by the breakfast sausages).

                            Completely simple and absolutely delicious. Lots of salt and fresh black pepper are key.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mels

                              Sawmill gravy is just that plain and simple Mels! Delicious!!!! --- Use your favorite Hot/Mild Roll sausage and......