Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Who needs C, D, E, and F?

When you have ... or at least can make... B & G? This classic takes me back to my first restaurant job. We served biscuits and gravy by the potful, but never made it truly from scratch. I tend to order a single biscuit with gravy as a side when I eat breakfast out. Recently, I had developed a craving to make the real-deal at home. 

Sunday proved to be the perfect, cool fall morning to satisfy this urge. The biscuit recipe is Paula Dean (I was looking for a shortening-based version instead of my usual approach using butter.) The gravy is impromptu.

The Method (Biscuits)
This is an excellent recipe for teaching Junior Chefs.

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Combine: 3 C all-purpose flour, 2 TBs sugar, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.
  3. Cut into the dry mix 1/2 C vegetable shortening. (Paula says to use a fork, but this is slow going initially. We used our pastry blender instead - see below.)
  4. Continue cutting the shortening in until the mixture assumes a grainy texture (like cornmeal).
  5. Add 1 C buttermilk slowly until the dough just holds together. (Paula says, "well mixed" but we Yankees know better than to overmix biscuit dough.)
  6. Turn the dough on to a floured surface. Press to form a soft but cohesive pile.
  7. Knead very lightly 2-3 times (We accomplished 3 folds.)
  8. Roll out the dough gently until 1/2" thick.
  9. Cut out biscuits. (We used a 1 cup measuring cup without a handle.)
  10. Place on a cookie sheet. (Paula says greased. We left it ungreased without problems.)
  11. Brush biscuits with melted butter.
  12. Bake 14 minutes, or until golden brown.

The Method (Gravy)

You can make sawmill or milk gravy very simply. Browned meat, flour plus the drippings, and milk. I took a slightly more seasoned direction.
  1. Brown 1/4# salt pork/fat back in a deep pot. (You could use several strips of good bacon.)
  2. Add 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  3. As the onion softens, add 3 cloves of garlic, chopped. Stir.
  4. Add 1# pork sausage. (You could use ground pork and season to your own taste. We defaulted to a prepared breakfast sausage.)
  5. Cook the sausage until done. 
  6. Sprinkle 1/3 C flour over the sausage and mix well.
  7. Cook floured sausage another 2-3 minutes until all juices are absorbed and the flour begins to lightly brown.
  8. Slowly add 2-3 C skim milk. (Why skim? It's what we had in the fridge. Frankly, given the calories and fat in this dish, whole milk would have had little effect on the final result - especially because...)
  9. Add 1/4 C leftover heavy cream.
  10. Season liberally with salt & pepper, 2-3 solid shakes of cayenne pepper (could have used more), and 1 tsp of dried thyme. (Sage may have worked well, too.)
  11. Cook gravy until it thickens - about 5-6 minutes.
The Results
There is little need for an extended discussion of the results. Pictures will suffice.

For those who would like the before shot...

I could eat this every day...at least until the cardiovascular disease set in.

Bookmark and Share


Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009