Monday, August 6, 2012

Just like Grandma's - Sausage Gravy

There is something so magical and wonderful about simple biscuits and gravy. Those two elements have been feeding the hungry for generations. They are not stuffy foods that you have to take too seriously, like a good pairing of cheese and wine. They are dishes that when served solo they always seem to be in need of a partner, like butter or jam. The smell of this dish brings comfort to my soul. It is the kind of meal that I crave after I have had a good cry or when the floodgates have opened and buckets of raining are being dumped all around. I like to eat this kind of meal in my pj's with a good book near by to comfort me after my belly is full.  Biscuits and gravy have been a staple in my house all of my life. My mom had her own twist on it which involved chipped beef in place of sausage, which is equally delicious but not traditional. Not that I am a "traditionalist" by any means, but when it comes to this meal, I like to make it the same has it has been made for many years. I love how a few simple ingredients can come together to create a moment that is deliciously unforgettable. It is the perfect meal to serve any guest who is needing to feel loved.
By the way, I am not up to par of my biscuit recipe but hopefully I will fine tune it soon and share. In the mean time you can make your own recipe or get some of those delicious frozen one's from our friend Schubert at the store.

Sausage Gravy - enough for 4 people

1/2 lb (half of a tube) mild sausage - I am a Tennessee Pride gal
3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk - slightly warmed (I cook it for about 1 minute in the microwave)
3/4 tsp salt
1/2-3/4 tsp pepper (I am a firm believe in a LOT of black pepper for this dish!)
1/8 tsp ground poultry seasoning (yes! another use for it besides Thanksgiving)

In a large heavy bottom skillet or cast iron set on medium heat, cook the sausage until it is lightly browned. I like to break it continuously with my wooden spoon so that I get little tiny crumbles as I think that is best with sausage gravy. Don't let the sausage get crispy, remove it as soon as the pink has cleared away.
Turn the head to medium-low and remove the sausage with your spoon and place into a bowl. Set aside.
Throw the 3 Tbsp of butter into the pan and let them slowly melt. There will be a brown film on the bottom of the pan for the sausage but that love will come in very handy in a wee bit so don't even think about scrubbing the pan!
After the butter has melted, slowly add the flour and stir until it is combined. It is going to look like a hot mess, but don't be alarmed. It sort of looks like you are cooking play-dough and that is perfect. Let it cook for about 3 minutes so that it looses the flour taste and combines with the butter.
With a whisk in one hand and the milk in the other, slowly add the milk to the flour and whisk constantly to prevent any major lumpage. You will notice that the brown bits start floating around in the cream white sauce and that is JUST what you want! Throw in the salt, pepper and poultry seasoning and stir almost
continuously for about 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened.
It is still a little too thin. See that? 
This is the perfect thickness. See those bits of flavor?
You can turn the heat up to medium if you are in a hurry but turn it right back down if it starts to boil too fast. Once the mixture has started to thicken pour in the cooked sausage (be sure you get the lovely grease that settled at the bottom). Turn the heat to low and let it continue to cook until your biscuits are ready to be topped. I like to add an extra splash of pepper and salt right at the end.


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