A favorite for many Southerners, but the process of making gravy is elusive to so many others. Here is my simple, fool-proof method to make you look like a star in the kitchen and please your breakfast guests.
Serving sausage patties seems like a natural thing to do when making this breakfast treat, but lots of folks out there just make the biscuits and gravy without the additional sausage patties — your choice.
The choice of sausage is also yours: some may like the spicy blend or choose sausage enhanced with maple flavor, but I use the “regular” (Jimmy Dean) breakfast sausage in the tube. If you are making the sausage patties to go along with this, you can just buy a second tube of sausage, or else get a package of pre-formed sausage patties.
- 2 1-pound tubes of breakfast sausage (or else 1 tube of bulk sausage and 1 package of pre-formed sausage patties)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 cups of milk (preferably heated) plus more to thin gravy to desired consistency
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. pepper
Begin by frying up your sausage patties in a large skillet — I prefer non-stick for this. Be sure to brown your patties nicely on the first side, then turn them over and brown on the second side. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel and move on to the gravy.
For the gravy, begin by frying up the bulk sausage: remove from the tube and crumble, right into the same skillet. Break up the sausage as you go, until it is cooked through and the ground meat is broken up into small pieces (you could leave some larger chunks, if desired).
Sprinkle the flour over the cooked meat in the skillet, and stir to combine — until all the meat is coated with the flour. For a fool-proof method of making sure the flour does not clump, you can use a strainer: put the flour into a small strainer and tap the edge of the strainer to dust the flour over the cooked sausage in an even layer. It should look like a light dusting of snow all over the top of the sauce, and your flour will NOT clump when you stir it in, using this method.
Cook the flour and meat mixture for about 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently, to cook-off the raw flour flavor. Then add the warmed milk slowly, stirring vigorously, until you have a smooth gravy mixture. For the milk, if you have a microwave, I like to just put a 2-cup measure of milk in the microwave for 3 minutes to warm it through, or you could use a small saucepan to warm the milk. If you add cold milk to make the gravy, it will be fine — you just run a greater risk of the gravy clumping. Season with salt & pepper; continue cooking the gravy for 3-5 minutes and add a little more milk (cold is fine) to thin the gravy if it gets too thick during cooking.
TIP: you MUST cook the flour with the sausage for a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste, before adding milk. However, the longer you cook the flour the less thickening power it will have so if you go for more than 3-5 minutes of coking before adding milk, the gravy will not take up as much milk.
Check the finished gravy for seasoning and finish with a little more salt & pepper, if necessary. Serve over hot biscuits right away — with sausage patties on the side.
If you have a favorite biscuit recipe, then you go right ahead and make up a batch of biscuits. For me, this falls under the “pick your battles” category and I believe you can buy pre-made biscuits which turn out just fine (I prefer the bag of individually frozen biscuits that you put onto a cookie sheet and bake — they turn out just fine). I also like to line my sheet pan with parchment paper to place the biscuits on, to ensure they will not stick, and easy removal after they are baked.