I used to be kind of scared to make gravy. I remember one of the first Thanksgivings that we hosted, I had my mother and father-in-law walking me through making the gravy for the turkey and I was so worried I would screw it up. Who wants a lumpy or tasteless gravy? When I would want gravy for potatoes or other dishes, I would turn to those little gravy packets. The kind that you just mix with water. As I’ve grown as a cook, I have learned to enjoy making gravy from scratch and can throw it together pretty easily. It’s no longer scary, but a great way to play with flavors and save a dish that might be on the boring side. The gravy base in my Biscuits and Gravy is pretty basic and can be used in many recipes. I make it the way my mom showed me how and it’s also a winner because it only uses 1 skillet so there’s less to clean up! I don’t measure anything when I make it and it’s one of those recipes that just always works without fail. Once you make it, you’ll be throwing it together and adjusting the amounts to your liking in no time. One thing to note is that I like a lot of pepper in my gravy, well in anything really. So I season with a little salt, but mostly pepper throughout the cooking. I don’t measure it, but it’s an awful lot of pepper added up. Probably a good Tablespoon or more. Feel free to reduce the pepper to suit your taste! I admit, I stink at making homemade biscuits. I’ve tried many different recipes and I don’t know if it’s just me or the recipe, or a combination of the two, but they never really turn out just how I want them. Last year I tried again to make them from scratch and they turned out like dense crumbly baseballs. My birds and squirrels had a big feast that night. 🙂 I like a nice flakey biscuit that holds together and does not crumble into a mess when making breakfast sandwiches or just enjoying with butter and honey on top. I always use Pillsbury Grands frozen biscuits. I like them better than the refrigerated canned biscuits and the frozen ones are pretty close to tasting like a homemade biscuit in my opinion. I’m open to trying a homemade biscuit recipe if you have one that you like and that I wouldn’t screw up! Comments/suggestions/tried and true recipes for this not so great baker – send them my way please!
Biscuits and Gravy
Pillsbury Grands Frozen Biscuits – either Buttermilk or Southern (I can’t tell a difference between the two). I make 2 biscuits per adult plus a few extras in case they are extra hungry.
1/2 lb ground sausage. You can use more if you like more sausage in your gravy. I use mild flavor sausage.
1/2 small – medium onion – diced fine (sorry I forgot to include this in my ingredients picture above)
5-6 TBS butter
1/3 C all-purpose flour
1 C Heavy Cream – may need more
2 C milk – may need more
Kosher or Sea Salt to taste
Lots of fresh ground black pepper
Preheat oven, prepare and bake frozen biscuits per package directions. As the package states, they rise better if they are snuggled and touching when baking.
I brown the sausage and cook the gravy in one large skillet. Mine is a deep sided non stick skillet that is big enough for sauces and gravies. My mom has a favorite cast iron skillet that she uses. So use what you have. If you don’t have a large skillet, you could use a large heavy stock pot. If it is not non stick, you may need to watch the gravy more carefully to prevent scorching and sticking in your pan/pot.
Brown the sausage and diced onion in your skillet on medium heat until sausage is cooked and onions are soft. Season with pepper. Do not drain. Leave sausage and onion in the skillet.
Add in the butter and melt.
Add in the flour and stir to combine with sausage and melted butter.
Continue to stir flour, melted butter, and sausage for 2-3 minutes creating a roux for your gravy base.
Add in the heavy cream and then the milk and stir until combined. You can use a whisk if you like, but I just use a wooden spoon.
Gravy will thicken up while on medium heat. Once it’s thickened, turn down to low simmer and stir occasionally. Add in salt and pepper to taste and keep on low simmer until ready to serve.
If needed, add a little more milk if gravy becomes too thick as it simmers. I always seem to need a 1/4 – 1/2 cup more or so of milk as those sleepy heads finally come downstairs for breakfast.
I break the biscuits apart and return them to the oven the last few minutes of baking to make sure the insides are not undercooked.
When biscuits are ready, split them in half and serve the gravy spooned over top of them.
I served mine with orange juice mimosas (made with champagne for the adults and ginger ale for the kids)