Tuesday, February 12, 2013

biscuits with sausage gravy

So yesterday we had Spicy Thai Noodles- not exactly romantic food, but a good start to the spicy week of Valentine's. Now, biscuits with sausage gravy isn't really romantic either, but if the way a man's to a heart is through his stomach, this stuff will stick to his ribs so he'll love you forever. Ed raved about this for several days. That's after he ate all of his, some of mine and then all the leftovers for lunch the next day. This is comfort food to the max. Breakfast, lunch and dinner supreme. And easy to boot!
If you want to use canned or frozen biscuits, go for it. But, really, biscuits are pretty easy. Especially these ones- no buttermilk, no lard, just basic. The reason I'm going with the super simple biscuit is because these bad boys are going to be covered in luscious gravy. If they weren't, I'd be going for the flakier, more buttery style, but these will suffice.
Even though these biscuits are simple, the key to making them delicate is the same with other recipes is don't over knead. Handle the dough as little as possible.
I used a cookie cutter to shape mine, but you can rough shape them. Remember to coat the top generously with butter and to remove them from the oven when that butter is golden brown.
You are not deceived- these guys aren't going to get much bigger than when we first cut them. As the biscuits are cooking, you can start to brown your sausage meat.
Now I need to be very clear about one thing- you can use mild or hot loose Italian sausage, but you HAVE to use full fat. No light sausage or pork chicken blend, you HAVE to use full fat or you won't have the grease you need to make a rue for the white gravy. You can use butter to make the rue, but it will not have the same effect or traditional flavor.
Take the sausage out, make your rue and add the milk and cream. This is where you can cut some fat if you'd like. I used 1% milk and and it's still super creamy and delicious. Add as much pepper as you'd like, we add a lot.
At this point, you could coat a brick with this gravy and people would eat it- it's that good. But, it's better if you serve it over the biscuits you made. Just saying.
Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
Biscuits:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 Tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and softened butter until moisture is absorbed and a crumbly dough is formed. Knead the dough as little as possible, but enough that everything is compact. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into rounds. Place rounds on a greased cooking sheet, brush generously with melted butter and bake for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Gravy:
1 lb loose pork sausage
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups milk
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder

In a large cooking pan, brown sausage over medium heat, breaking up into crumbles. Saute until cooked through. Remove sausage but leave fat in the pan. Melt butter into fat. Whisk the flour into the fat and butter mixture and stir for a minute or so. Pour milk into skillet and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer for several minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness. Add seasonings and sausage. Mix to combine.
Serve over split biscuits and enjoy!