Creamy, smooth, velvety sausage gravy served over hot, fluffy buttermilk biscuits. That spells “c.o.m.f.o.r.t.”
It’s true. Ever since our family vacation to the Deep South this past Summer, we’ve come to love bacon more than ever. Not that we didn’t already love it (we did!), it’s just that we came to realize that the secret to good home Southern cooking is…bacon grease. In everything.
So ever since we got home from that vacation, every time we make bacon my husband saves the bacon grease. (*Note to Todd’s super health-conscious grandma and any of his patients who may be reading this: This is the part you’ll want to skip over…) It keeps for a while in the fridge and can be frozen for a long time so you can always have it on hand for moments like this. Here is Todd’s carefully collected vat of pig fat:
This is only the second occasion I’ve used it, but I will tell you: It makes ALL the difference in flav-ah! And you can take it from a doctor (Todd): Unless you have a serious health condition that mandates zero fat intake (*is there such a thing?), the occasional indulgence is perfectly A-Okay. And you can take it from a mental health and marriage counselor (me): Doing so is to your benefit – life is there to be enjoyed! And when you’re happy, your spouse, children and everyone around you is happier. See, it’s really that simple.
Bacon grease. Possibly the solution to world peace? It’s worth a try.
*In the rare event that you do have an unclassified medical condition that permits zero fat intake, please consult your physician.
Alright, folks, let’s get started!
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, break off/crumble pieces of the sausage and cook until no longer pink.
Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the bacon grease.
Add the flour and stir to combine.
Cook, stirring regularly, until the mixture is a light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Gradually add the milk, stirring to prevent lumps, along with the seasonings. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the gravy is thickened.
Ah, look at that luscious, creamy, velvety gravy! Add salt and pepper to taste. Add some hot sauce if you like.
Mmmmm, so good – this deserves a closer look…
Cut a biscuit in half, lay both halves on a plate and spoon some gravy over them. Serve immediately.
- For the Gravy:
- 3 tablespoons bacon grease or butter (bacon grease strongly recommended as it will produce the most, and best, flavor)
- 12 ounces bulk pork sausage
- ¼ cup finely chopped yellow onion
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Hot sauce or cayenne pepper for heat (optional)
- For the Buttermilk Biscuits:
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups cake flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup chilled buttermilk
- For the Gravy: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break off/crumble the sausage into little pieces with your fingers and add them to the pan. Cook until no longer pink. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the bacon grease and flour, stirring to combine, and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is a light golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly to prevent lumping, along with the seasonings. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until the sauce is thickened. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce or cayenne pepper to taste.
- For the Buttermilk Biscuits:
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a food processor and process briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the buttermilk all at once and pulse just until the ingredients are moistened. Don't over-pulse.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the food processor bowl and turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. The dough will be very soft. Sprinkle the dough with a little flour and gently knead the dough a few times. Pat the dough into a loose rectangle about 1½ inches thick. Fold the rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides in the middle to make 3 layers. Pat the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick. Use a 2½ inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour to cut out the biscuits, pushing straight down and lifting up without twisting. Pack together the remaining scraps and cut out additional biscuits.
- Place the biscuits on the baking sheet, spaced about 1 inch apart, and bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until the biscuits are firm to the touch and the tops and bottoms are golden brown. Let them rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving with the sausage gravy. Makes 16 biscuits.
Buttermilk Biscuit recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma