Before reading it I had absolutely no idea what plain white flour, lard, sour cream, salt and baking power looked like. Now I know.
Our call for reader post-pub nosh neckfiller suggestions continues to bear fruit, and for your wobbly dining consideration today we present "biscuits and gravy", courtesy of Robbin Nichol. According to Robbin, this stodgetastic delicacy – of 1996 movie Sling Blade fame – "is a big thing in some Southern States in the US and …
My other half made some pastry to freeze, some sweet, for pies, some savoury for , um, not sweet pies.
So one day she made a beef and ale pie. Lovely but the pastery was so sweet! Yeah, she had mixed em up. So a cobbler became a pobbler. P for "pie-crust".
Lovely juicy beef with a sugary topping does not work well....
A well executed biscuits and gravy is a brilliant neck filler, post pub or otherwise. Here's mine.
My sausage gravy recipe.
1lb of good quality sausage meat
1 large onion
1 clove of garlic minced
1/2 pint of light cream
1/2 pint of milk (2%)
2 heaped tablespoons of flour
1 oz grated aged Asiago cheese
dash Worcestershire sauce
sprinkling of nutmeg
salt and pepper
Using a spatula to divide the sausage meat into little pieces, fry off the sausage meat with onions in a little oil, add the minced garlic once the sausage is almost done. Once the sausage meat is cooked through and some crusty bits are forming on the meat, sprinkle the 2 spoons of flour over the mixture and continue frying whilst stirring to form a roux. Once a fairly light roux has been formed add the cream slowly and with constant stirring, the mixture should begin to thicken almost as soon as the added cream comes up to temperature. Once all the cream has been added add the milk in a similar fashion, you may need more than that specified as some flours thicken better than others. Add a dash of Worcestershire sauce, some nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer until the sauce has cooked through at which point I usually add the grated aged Asiago and stir it in. This is usually served over American biscuits, but I think using cheese scones would work just as well.
Back in my college days, we used to hit a little breakfast joint that was open 4am to noon. Regulars such as myself and my drinking buddies could get in at 3:30. They had the best biscuits and gravy! 1/2 order B&G plus your standard eggs, bacon, sausage etc really hit the spot. It was a sad day for my comrades and I when the owner passed away. No one picked up the business either...
There's a lot of variations to the gravy recipe depending on who makes it and geographic location.
What the Navy/Marines used to have was a milk gravy (no cream or cheese) using hamburger instead of sausage, and heavily peppered over biscuits, toast, or even hash browns. The Army/Air Force did SOS (S**t On a Shingle) but that's a rather nasty compared to the Navy/Marine stuff.
There's also "red-eye" gravy involving ham and ham drippings. I've also seen a variation of this using bacon drippings.
A bit of Googling for the adventurous will turn up many different variations.
The sight of very large americans pouring ladles of this stuff over their morning 'biscuits' at hotels all over CO,NV,UT,OR,WY,MO,NE,NM,AZ (and quite possibly other states) was enough to put me off it for life.
Then they go back for seconds/thirds. Even grits and sauerkraut (not in the same meal) seem edible when compared to that ... crap.
Arggggggggghhhhhhh let me out of there.
"The sight of very large americans pouring ladles of this stuff over their morning 'biscuits' at hotels all over CO,NV,UT,OR,WY,MO,NE,NM,AZ (and quite possibly other states) was enough to put me off it for life."
On the bright side, they make British cooking look appetising and move us from bottom spot in the World Culinary Opinion Championships.
Yeah um... As one of those Southerner that not only had that and sausage for breakfast, but make it in a few of the available variations, first I'd like to say, "We finally made it to the Post Pub scene! WOOT WOOT!!!
Like it was earlier mentioned, we don't put onions in our gravy. We typically use flour, milk, either bacon or sausage grease, salt and pepper for our gravy. And sometimes we'll make a REAL "Mess" which adds meat or meats eggs(usually scrambled or fried) and fried potatoes(shredded or chopped hashbrowns, or steak fry cut), on top of the buscuit and cover everything in a hefty sum of gravy. It may be why the South lost the Civil War, but it darn sure tastes good!
Proper Southern gravy has none of that onion, garlic, or cheese and it is pretty rare to use cream (at least in my neck of the woods whilst a wee lad).
Having lived and, unfortunately eaten, in the UK, I do find it amusing that so many here are decrying the appearance of this cuisine - I saw far worse gracing the plates in a number of pubs and can't count the number of times I was told "Go on, eat it - it tastes much better than it looks and smells...".
Amen. Gravy is simple - fresh grease, flour, milk, salt, pepper. The difficulty is in adding the milk to the roux without it going lumpy. Any meat (preferably what you cooked to make the grease) should be added AFTER the gravy has been put on the biscuits. I like Tennessee Pride sausage myself, especially the "Hot" version.
I'm Southern (Georgian), but admit to being a heretic - I like to top my gravy and biscuits with grits. And then drizzle honey over it. No, I don't plan to live past 50, thanks for asking...
Mmm, now I'm craving Cracker-Barrel. Over-medium eggs, bacon, grits, gravy and biscuits. Mmmmmmm. But payday isn't until Thursday. Thanks Lester...
Funny thing I've found over the years is that the Americans sense and usage of English words is more archaic than the British, consequently a lot of words that we find in English to be misinterpreted in American English and vice versa is based on the fact that the Yanks use an older definition. Gravy originally meant a spicy sauce, derived from the French grané, probably from grain ‘spice,’ from Latin granum ‘grain’.
Biscuits look a tad off, and that gravy is an abomination. Best way to do it is simply drive to pretty much any diner in the Mississippi Delta. Red-eye gravy is better, and none of that cheese and cream. Milk, flour, and grease is all you need. And a ton of pepper.
In my experience, a diner either makes good hash browns or good biscuits and gravy. Never had both good in the same place.
I am currently living in Athens, Ga and I can tell you that you have not got the proper touch on this one. There are no cheese or onions in biscuits and gravy. The real quality comes from people who have the basic recipe down and can make substitutions. My chef makes a killer version of the gravy with wild mushrooms instead of sausage. That is not at all a common thing, but it is worthy of trying once you get the real thing down. You need to make better biscuits, and add less flour in your gravy. The gravy should be served hot and not left to congeal into the mess you appear to be serving.
Yup, the gravy is deceptive, you need to make it runnier than you think, as it will start stiffening up once it is off the heat. And it's proper to just be sausage, flour for a roux (thickener), and milk and pepper. Although I'll be honest adding some hard cheese might be a good addition. I've used bacon and mushrooms in the gravy too, it's a nice surprise.
Also, I prefer drop biscuits to the round pressed type you use the same recipe except you mix with a fork until just barely together and scoop out small barely held together heaps onto the sheet, bake the same.
That way they are crumbly and airy. Then you crumble the biscuit, put an overeasy or maybe poached egg on it, top with gravy and serve with a slice of bacon.
For the naysayers, when the gravy is correctly done it's not greasy or sickening. Next you'll claim to not like gumbo because it starts with 1/4 cup of lard and 1/4 cup of flour (or 1/2c each depending on how I feel) too and turns out looking disgustingly brown and chunky.
Did this series do heuvos rancheros yet? I always felt that's the tex-mex version of biscuits and gravy. The cuban variation is even more similar as they drown it in black beans.
As mentioned,cheese, onions and garlic are not a usual part of the recipe, tho there may be some regional variations. Tho I may give that a try since I like to play around with recipes.
But I think another problem with the gravy is you made it with the sausage still in. Best to take the sausage out, then make the roux and add the liquid. Yours was probably tasty, but definitely too thick.
add Chicken Fried Steak, Hash Browns and 2 Eggs scrambled and even your WORST Tequila hangover will be gone!
When I get to go to Texas I look forward to Biscuits & Gravy. My English wife says it looks like baby puke on scones, but who gives a fsck!
Last time I was in Texas (December last), I had biscuits and gravy.
Airline food was much better.
So was pretty much everything, including McDonalds.
That stuff is sodding awful, like wallpaper paste on sad scones. As for what passes for "sausage" there, the less said the better.
BBQ on the other hand was magnificent.
First up, the above-mentioned Red-eye Gravy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-eye_gravy) may contain coffee, which is an abomination in any dish.
Second, in many parts of the world (UK, NZ) we expect our gravy to be somewhat stronger flavoured than the US seem to like it. I have had some pretty tasteless "gravy", so the addition of stronger flavour components (bacon grease, cheese, onion, garlic etc) would be welcome, to get that real strong taste.
In other words, I like the concept, but I'd rather execute it myself. With good fluffy biscuits/scones/dumplings or over fried potato/hash browns, it is pretty yummy after a hard night.
I'd never contemplated making gravy with sausage until attending college in Bloomington, Indiana, USA (Google it, Brits. It's lush, green, sub-tropical, & we have Internet Two). I make damn good biscuits and gravy, and here's how. Butter, NOT LARD (yuck), & NO FINGERS!! Cold butter, pastry blender or food processor, like piecrust (you have that in UK, yeah?) Dry ingredients and butter should look like very coarse meal. Make drop biscuits - use a bit more milk (whole milk, no cream), mix til combined, but no more, drop by .25 cop measure onto greased baking sheet. Goal is no handle dough as little as possible, makes for tender, flaky biscuits.
Sausage gravy is best made from a spicy hot sage sausage. I use a brand called "Old Folks" which barely renders enough fat for gravy. This is a feature, not a bug. Brown sausage in a dry pan, remove meat and add flour. You're making a roux, cook flour/fat a while, then use a sauce whisk to begin to incorporate the milk. Keep whisking, bring to simmer, things should thicken. Dump cooked sausage back in, adjust consistency. Adjust seasoning, probably need salt, if you use spicy sausage, you don't need pepper. Biscuits should be broken into chunks on plate, the better to trap and hold gravy ladled over.
Anyone visiting Indiana University, where I wrangle servers and more, I will be happy to clear up the misconceptions about biscuits and gravy. Will admit it looks like concrete chunks in cream sauce. Have seen way too much cat vomit to agree there.
Not sure about the original (though I;d happily try it if it were put before me), but that's got me thinking of trying plain scones with a cheesy bechamel. maybe a hint of garlic, plus either some fried chopped tomatoes, diced corned beef. Or both. Mmmmm.
The differences between American and English terms for various food items has me wondering whether anyone's had some particularly amusing/unfortunate incidents when ordering food on the other side of the pond fromwhere they usuallylive.
" has me wondering whether anyone's had some particularly amusing/unfortunate incidents when ordering food on the other side of the pond fromwhere they usuallylive."
I was once amused watching a set of german bikers in an English pub, attempting to order three pints of bitter "three bittas please", waiting ages at the table and finally getting three pizzas "three pitzas please......"
The look on the bikers faces was priceless. They got the pizzas for free when the confusion was resolved
But as a bonafide Southerner whose arteries are clogged with more than a little sausage gravy, let me say, that this is a po folks dish and it out to be kept simple. Our biscuits have no sugar because sugar was expensive in the old days, but we could grow our wheat for flour easy enough. So a biscuit really wanted to be a scone but through serendipity it ended up being a unique and lovely thing. Now for the gravy it needs nothing but flour and milk at most, the very most. A touch of baking soda will give some lift but that is really fru fru. The whole savoriness of the dish is the seasoning of the sausage which ends up flavoring the gravy and all. Some black pepper and maybe a dash of salt are all you will ever need further, if you even want those. When it comes to biscuits.....chill your dough before you cut out the biscuits, and promplty bake them, they will come out flaky this way. Also, the best biscuits are the ones which become stone within a few hours. They must be eaten quite fresh. Whoever mentioned browning the gravy........don't you dare. Not for this dish.
In the US buttermilk is a cultured milk like khefir. Originally it was whey (thus the name) that had soured a bit. The main reason for using it is that if you limit the leavening to baking soda, you need an acid to react with the soda. Otherwise you have hard, crispy little objects that can be substituted for hockey pucks. Thus, the addition of sour milk (buttermilk). Since we often don't have buttermilk on hand - a large minority actually drink it - there are numerous doges. Probably the best, since it adds just a hint of flavor, is sour the milk with a tablespoon or so of lemon juice. Simply add the juice to the milk and let it stand for a few minutes until the milk has begun to thicken. Also, a good many of us biscuit makers toss in a teaspoon of sugar to enhance the flavour a bit (too much makes the biscuits sweet) and to enhance browning. Acidic doughs don't brown well and unbrowned biscuits don't taste as good.
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