Monday, November 3, 2008

Sausage Gravy

Being from the south, gravy is considered one of the major food groups. We like to put gravy over just about everything. Oh y'all from other parts of the country may call it sauce or some such, but it's just gravy in one of its many forms. You can have white gravy, brown gravy, red eye gravy, pepper gravy, and my all-time-favorite, sausage gravy. Which is really just white gravy with sausage, but keep that under your hats, 'kay?

When I signed on to be a missionary, it was with the understandin' I wouldn't have to give up my gravy. And because a dear friend gave me her amazing recipe for homemade breakfast sausage, I can have some of the best biscuits and sausage gravy anywhere in the world. And you can, too, 'cause I'm gonna share it with you.

Now I realize y'all have access to some mighty fine sausage right at the local Winn Dixie. I'm not exactly a sausage snob but I do like Jimmy Dean for that right amount of fat and seasoning which is absolutely essential to a good gravy base.


1-1/2 lb. ground pork (or you can mix it up with 1 lb. ground pork, 1/2 lb. ground beef/veal/venison)
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried sweet marjoram
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt (I use coarse salt)
Simply add seasonings to meat and mix together well, forming patties to fry.
NOTE: If you use really lean meat, you will have to add oil to the skillet or it will stick. Having the butcher grind a little fat into the ground meat is a good idea in terms of both flavor and the need for fat to make gravy.

1 lb. breakfast sausage (homemade or store bought)
butter as needed
2-3 tablespoons flour
2-3 cups milk
salt and pepper to season
As you can tell, this is not an exact science. I fry up the sausage until it's done, then move it to a platter while I make the gravy and then I crumble up the patties and mix them back in.
To make the gravy you need to make sure you have a few tablespoons of grease in the pan. If the sausage was too lean, you'll need to add butter to make up the deficit. Once it's melted, add the flour. And as to how much flour? That depends on how much grease. You want to make a roux with the flour and grease that is thick but not impossibly so. And you want to stir that constantly for 3-4 minutes over the medium heat so that it starts browning just a little but not burning. Take the skillet off the burner for a minute and add in the milk. Again, this is a by-the-seat-of-your-pants skill that you learn as you go. If you added about 2 tablespoons of flour, you can figure on adding 2 to 2-1/2 cups milk, if you added more flour, it will take more milk. What you want to end up with is a gravy that's not runny but isn't so thick you have to cut it either.
Once you have the gravy to the right consistency, add the crumbled sausage back in, and season as you like with salt and pepper. And for goodness sakes, enjoy over steaming hot biscuits for the best breakfast in the world!

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