This country is facing a huge problem. Yes, I know, we are facing a lot of problems; the financial crisis, civil unrest, another election where we will have to chose the lesser of 2 evils, etc. The list goes on, but I’m not talking about these front page issues that take up most of our time. I’m talking about something more insidious. An issue that has seemed to have slipped past the media’s attention and yet no one noteworthy has taken up its cause. Yes, I’m talking about the fact that it is getting harder and harder to find a good plate of Biscuits and Gravy anywhere in this country, even in the Deep South. One day, America is going to wake up, craving a warm comforting bowl of lumpy liquid love, and it won’t be there. And the sad thing is we have no one to blame but ourselves. Even when you find it on menus, what you get, most often, is a pile of pasty,white “gravy” that is graced with the occasional nugget of sausage, or, my personal favorite, the pasty, white “gravy” with slices of breakfast links tossed into it at the last minute.
You’ll notice that I put the word gravy in quotations. That’s because I don’t consider white sauce, fresh out of the can, or made from mix, to be the real thing. It’s sad, because sausage gravy, besides being a thing of beauty, is also quite simple to make, and doesn’t take much longer than most breakfast dishes.
So, I am arming my readers against that day when Biscuits and Gravy finally disappears from restaurant menus altogether. For it is you that will carry on the tradition so that your children can experience the comforting, artery clogging goodness that is sausage gravy.
1 pound breakfast sausage, bulk not links
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1 Tbsp. fresh sage, minced
2 Tbsp. freshly brewed coffee
In a large skillet brown the sausage.
Once browned sprinkle in the flour. This is one of the biggest mistakes that people make when making sausage gravy. They pour out the sausage grease, but then make a roux on the side consisting of butter and flour. It seems to me you are throwing a lot of the good sausage flavor away, only to introduce more fat, in the form of butter, when you add the roux. So don’t drain the grease off of your sausage, just add the flour and make your roux right in the pan with the sausage. If you sausage is extremely fatty you can pour off some of the grease, leaving approximately 4 tablespoons in the pan.
Stir the flour in until it has absorbed all the grease and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly add the cold milk stirring constantly. Add the sage and bring to a boil to allow the flour to thicken. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom to avoid scorching the milk. Season with salt and pepper. How much will depend on both your taste the sausage you are using. Finally, add the 2 Tbsp. of coffee. Yes, I know it sounds strange, but you won’t taste it in the final product and the acidity helps to both brighten and deepen the flavor. Serve over split biscuits, enjoy, and know that you are doing your part to keep a bit of American culinary history alive!!!