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Gravy, as in Biscuits and Gravy 2.0

Ok! The Boyfriend has great sentimental attachment to his mother's biscuits and gravy. I suck at white gravy. I've never gotten it right. Same with the Boyfriend, even with his ma's recipe.

Her gravy turns out "fluffy," mine more like a thick batter or a thin dough: sticky and "stretchy" and sometimes with lumps. She makes it with any meat she has (pork/venison sausage, bacon, bologna, etc.) and eyeballs it. Also she adds all the milk at once to the flour/drippins mixture. The recipe was for our benefit.

In '06/'07 Chowser posted a thread about the seasoning and tastiness aspects of B&G.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3527...
I just need help getting the damn gravy right!

My first thought is to add the milk more slowly to keep it at a paste...but will that activate the gluten more from all the stirring? MORE sticky??

Should I use pastry flour? She uses A.P.

Should I use 2% or whole milk? She uses skim.

Should I give up and leave this to the skilled mama? Help, please. Thanks CH's.

*Edit* Forgot to mention, don't assume I know anything about using flour, because it's not my strong point. Bread comes from the store. I use flour in c.c. cookies and that's it. Maybe, someday, with your help, I will make an edible white gravy.

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  1. 1 pound sausage, cooked and drained, fat reserved.

    Return 6 tablespoons of at to the pan.

    Heat 4 cups of whole milk in a separate pan or in the microwave. (You want it hot, but not boiling.)

    Add 6 T. of AP flour to the fat and cook over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes.

    Turn off heat and add hot milk, all at once, whisking. Return sausage to pan and continue to cook until the gravy has thickened. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper.

    You can increase/decrease the amount of milk, depending on personal preferences.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Excellent! I forget that not everyone can do the "eyeball it" method!

      My Memorial Day breakfast will definitely be B&G now! :)

      1. re: pikawicca

        That's it!

        We use the same method. Using whole milk and adding a little bit of minced onion to the sausage, along with a dash of hot pepper flakes.

        I have also been known to use 1/2 chicken stock and half heavy cream for the liquid...

        1. re: shaogo

          Perhaps this is more on topic in the other thread, but the half stock half heavy cream method is a suggestion i read for vegetarian B&G. Veg stock is supposed to add flavor that it's hard to get with just veggie sausage. Maybe not as good as the real thing, but it sounds like a good sub to me. :)

      2. I've used Jeff Smith's (The Frugal Gourmet) recipe for years...don't make it very much anymore but I'm wondering if perhaps you might be using too much flour? I don't measure anymore but I do know that I start with a pound of Jimmy Dean sage breakfast sausage...brown it up and crumble it, then add the flour (I want to say scant 1/4 cup at most..might be only 2 or 3 TB...always all purpose unbleached)...cook it into the crumbled meat, the small amount of fat in the pan (there's usually hardly any but if there was any pooling, I would definitely skim it out of the pan) absorbs the flour and cooking it for a few minutes helps dispense of the flour-y taste. Then about 2 cups of milk goes in and I usually put in half regular milk and half 1%, just because there are 2 kinds always in my fridge; if it seems too thick, I just add another 1/2 cup of milk. I'm not an expert on this dish by any means...others can certainly improve on what I've offered. Sons love it and request it when they visit though.

        1. Mmkay, I have 4 leftover biscuits from this morning's gooey experiment. I'll try small batches tomorrow and report back. Thanks dudes!!

          1. 1. Melt 4 T. butter at med-high heat in cast iron skillet.
            2. Reduce heat to med and slowly incorporate 4 T. flour stirring constantly.
            3. Add 2 cups whole milk, stir to incorporate totally and bring to a fairly robust simmer.
            4. Reduce to very low and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
            5. Add crumbled bacon or breakfast sausage if you like.

            As far as I'm concerned this is a foolproof recipe. Made it many times and it always comes out great.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Perilagu Khan

              That's bechamel with crumbled stuff in it. Not the same.

              DT

              1. re: Davwud

                It ain't milk gravy, but it's quite delicious, nonetheless...

            2. You've gotten good advice already and there's a lot of great info in that thread. For your questions, keep stirring to keep out the lumps, use whisk if necessary, and don't worry about gluten (more of a concern with more flour for biscuits than for the small amount w/ gravy). Whole milk give it that rich silkiness that skim won't but if your BF is used to it w/ skim, I'd consider going that route, if you're trying to make him happy. Use AP flour. Add warm milk to it slowly. Taste, taste, taste. I feel like I've eaten a whole portion by the time I've finished (I'm exaggerating but I do taste w/ every addition).

              Overall, cook sausage, remove. Using the fat, make a roux w/ flour (about 2 big tablespoons) and stir a couple of minutes. Add warm milk (about 2 cups) until thickened. Add additional milk and stir until thickened, about 4-5 cups of milk altogether). Season w/ salt and pepper.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chowser

                Sorry, but 2 T. flour are not sufficient for 4-5 cups of milk.

                1. re: pikawicca

                  2 heaping tablespoons might be, though, for what my mother calls "Patterson" gravy, the kind thin enough to spread around among my granddad and his ten brothers and sisters! ;)

                  1. re: LauraGrace

                    Sounds like a Depression-era recipe (or ten kids). The flavor from the sausage drippings is so intense that you can really stretch it.

                  2. re: pikawicca

                    Sorry it wasn't clear. I meant, as LauraGrace said, two heaping tablespoons, just less than1/4 cup I'd guess, not the little tablespoon measure but a real tablespoon that you eat with. It's what I use.