A recipe on how to make easy creamy-style biscuits and sausage gravy for a quick and easy breakfast or breakfast for dinner.
Let me begin by telling you that there is nothing remotely light about this recipe. This is stick-to-your-ribs food. It’s the type of meal you eat when the last possible day in February starts with an ice and snow storm. It is destined for lazy Saturdays when you actually feel like cooking just a bit or evening meals when you’re short on time but ravenous at the thought of food. A meal that you eat after a cold, brisk walk around the lake.
I’ve started enjoying the lake more. It’s just down the road, with a walking path that is frequented by other walkers, runners, and the occasional miscreant. Surrounded by park land, a community golf course, and the neighborhood zoo, it’s a tiny slice of heaven right in my backyard.
I find the cold wind rather freeing, and it’s been great for clearing my head and getting away when the walls seem to be pushing in on me inside the house. I’ll mourn the loss of the cold just a bit as spring comes and then summer sets in, bringing extra people to navigate around, and making it feel a bit less secluded. Exercise I suppose is a bonus, but then, I’m apt to undo any sort of benefit by serving biscuits and sausage gravy up for dinner.
The beauty of cream biscuits is their short prep and cooking time. Start to finish, biscuits can be on the table in less than 20 minutes. While they bake, you can whip up whatever else you’re going to eat with them. In this case, sausage gravy and a side of eggs rounded out the meal, accompanied by a sad-looking pomegranate that had made itself quite comfortable at the bottom of the produce drawer. Inside, however, the arils were bursting with bright red juice, and their tart-sweet bits were just what was needed to cut the richness of the gravy.
Love or hate the winter wonderland outside my door, I’m glad to be huddled inside with the oven on, waiting for soft, fluffy biscuits to put on the plates of my family.
*You can substitute butter for bacon grease if you don’t have any available, I suppose.
*Cream biscuits (barely) adapted from Smitten Kitchen via James Beard’s American Cookery
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons melted butter
For the gravy:
1 pound raw breakfast sausage
2 tablespoons bacon grease
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup heavy cream
3 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425º F and line a large baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in 1 1/4 cups of the heavy cream until incorporated. Slowly stir in the remaining cream until the dough reaches a soft and easily handled consistency.
Turn the dough out onto a flat, lightly floured surface. Knead lightly into a ball, and then press the dough into a circle just about 1″ thick. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut into circles. Press remaining scraps into a flat circle again and repeat until all the dough is used.
Dip the dough rounds into the melted butter, and then place them on the prepared baking sheet, butter side up, 2″ apart. Bake for 12-15 minutes until tops are golden brown. While the biscuits are baking, prepare the gravy.
Make the gravy: Brown the sausage in a large saucepan over medium heat. Set aside. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter and bacon grease. Slowly whisk in the flour until is incorporated into a smooth paste. Add the cream while constantly whisking to thoroughly mix. Stir in the milk and pepper.
Continue to heat and stir until gravy thickens and reaches desired consistency. Add the sausage back into the gravy. Salt if needed, but many sausage varieties will be salty enough. If the sauce becomes too thick, stir in additional milk. If a spicier gravy is preferred add cayenne pepper.
Remove the biscuits from the oven. Serve gravy over warm biscuits.
Makes 10 biscuits with gravy.