It is said that you can learn a lot about a culture just by eating the food. Well, if that is true then the South is boring. Or at least every recipe that I have encountered for sausage gravy is. When I first moved here, I wanted to dive in and try everything to really get a feel for what Southern foods are really like.
I asked my husband’s family how to make sausage gravy, and I couldn’t believe that it was extremely simple: sausage, flour, milk, salt and pepper. This dish that I have heard nothing but rave reviews about was boring. There was nothing special about it. That wouldn’t work for me.
So, I took that basic recipe and amped it up a little. I added some simple fresh herbs and that made all the difference in the world. Using the herbs to mimic the flavors that were already in the pork really gave this simple dish a much needed upgrade. And eating it over homemade biscuits just knocked it out of the park.
Now on those Sunday mornings when I wake up just a little bit earlier than everyone else, my family knows sausage gravy and biscuits aren’t far behind. My kids aren’t going to stay little forever, so I’ve got to get that family time in when I can.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 lbs ground pork breakfast sausage
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 2½ -3 cups whole milk depending on how thick you want it
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced sage
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced thyme
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced rosemary
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead 15 to 20 times. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch thick. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.
Set a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is loose and no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour, and salt & pepper to taste, over the sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has been absorbed by the fat, approximately 2minutes.
Add fresh herbs. Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a bare simmer until the gravy gets thick and the roux covers the back of a spoon. If it is too thick for your liking add more milk and stir. Serve over split fresh biscuits.