I’ve been hiding something from you all these years. It’s nothing serious but it will probably surprise you, as it does most people, considering where I live now and where I grew up. See, I’m a country music fan. A big one…and I’m no longer afraid to admit it, as I once was while growing up in a world of Z100 and Hot 97 beaming from the top of the Empire State Building. This love started as a teenager when you know liking something different other than mainstream anything is a social and high-school-life-ending deal breaker. But I fell for Garth Brooks’ music hard. Standing Outside the Fire. The Dance. Unanswered Prayers. If Tomorrow Never Comes. It all resonated deep inside me. And maybe this all coincided with teenage first love. But the music never left me. I blasted “The Hits” album when I spent endless hours babysitting for my cousins, in my Discman, and in my oversized stereo in my bedroom and dorm rooms. I must have been driven everyone crazy!
Today, Garth and all of my favorite “modern” country music blasts from my iPhone, in my car, and always in my kitchen when I cook (from my new-but-still-10yr-old oversized stereo). So to help celebrate my great friend Elly’s 5th blogging anniversary (YAY Elly!!), I’m contributing this post and my love of all things country to Elly’s Eat to the Beat event. To specifically tie my love for country music together with food, I actually went around in circles thinking about what to make because there are so many specific possibilities: sweet potato pie (Alabama), fried chicken (Zac Brown Band), desserts with honey (Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton), fish (there are too many fishing songs to count), or really any food that contains beer, whiskey, tequila, etc. If you’re not into country, maybe this spoof from Lady Antebellum (called Lady Hazing) will help you get you in the mood…
But I decided to go with country music in general rather than a specific song since it’s what I shake my booty to in the kitchen while I cook. And when I think about “food, food of the South” (lol I hope some of you got that!), biscuits and sausage gravy are what immediately come to mind. Biscuits and gravy also happen to be one of Kyle’s and my absolute favorite breakfasts and since I posted it so long ago here, I thought it might be high time to resurrect that post and update the photo. I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit over the years to perfect it and now with the addition of the dream biscuits I made recently, this meal is truly outstanding. Peppery and velvety sausage gravy…fluffy biscuits…yowza! Not only is it our favorite holiday breakfast, but we’ve also made it a couple times for dinner as well and it’s the perfect meal to make breakfast for dinner even more fun. You may not be a country fan, but don’t let that stop you from making these biscuits and gravy!
Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
source: Smells Like Home adapted from Newsday, April 6, 2003
I’ve made this recipe quite a few times over the past few years since I first posted it here and have tweaked a few things along the way to make it exactly perfect. Adding a little ground fennel seed gives the sausage a little boost in “traditional sausage” flavor which I sometimes find that ground breakfast sausage is lacking in. Be sure to taste and season with salt and pepper as needed before serving; sausage gravy deserves quite a bit of black pepper to really round out the flavor.
- 12 oz ground breakfast sausage (uncooked, like Jones or Jimmy Dean)
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel seed (optional)
- 2 – 3 tbsp unsalted butter (if needed)
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 recipe Cream Biscuits
- In a 12″ inch cast iron pan, brown sausage with ground fennel seed (if using) over medium-high heat until it is no longer pink, crumbling sausage with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
- Using a slotted spoon remove the sausage to a plate, leaving as much liquid in the pan as possible. Lower the heat to medium and add butter to pan if the s – you’ll need enough to yield 3 tbsp of melted butter and sausage drippings.
- Stir in flour until it forms a continuous mixture (roux) with the butter/drippings and cook for about 1 minute, stirring continuously. Whisk milk into the roux until no lumps remain, add salt and pepper, and allow the mixture to thicken as it comes to a simmer. Once mixture has thickened to a gravy that coats the back of a spoon, lower the heat to medium-low and stir the sausage back into the gravy and heat the sausage through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately over hot biscuits.