Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sausage Gravy - Cooking by the Seat of Your Pants

Enough of this deep thought we've been doing. My head hurts from all the ruminating. Thinking too much makes me hungry, so let's cook something.

One of the best parts of visiting Grandma for the weekend was having biscuits and gravy for breakfast. My grandmother was a born and bred southern belle and she could cook great meals without a single recipe or measuring cup. As we've discussed before, the secret of cooking by the seat of your pants is knowing proportions. If you know the proportions you can cook for 1 or 100.

Sausage gravy starts with sausage, of course. This is a package that the Other Mother got at the grocery store.

The package says it's made in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. There is a lot of great food that comes out of Wisconsin, cheese and bratwurst comes to mind but breakfast sausage is the territory of the south.

These are pre-formed patties. Get yourself a nice heavy iron pan and put it on medium high.

I'm not liking this sausage. They've somehow made this so that it doesn't fall apart or shrink. But it's wierd and rubbery. I'm not loving this. I will admit that I'm a breakfast sausage snob. There's nothing better than southern sausage with tons of sage and pepper. My grandmother would buy a brand that was packed in a cloth bag. We'd slice through the cloth and all. It would fry up leaving some nice brown bits and fat in the pan to make the gravy.

This sausage did not leave anything much. If this is the case, you need to add some butter to the pan. Here's the proportions - 1 TBSP. fat to 1 TBSP. flour and 1/3-1/2 cup milk.

Crumble some of the sausage into the pan. Add the flour and stir will to incorporate. I've added 3 TBSP. butter and 3 TBSP. flour.

Stir and cook the flour for a few minutes. You need to do this so that the gravy doesn't taste pasty.

While the gravy is cooking, make yourself some coffee. This is what we use in this house.

It's from the '50's I think. The Other Mother worked at Sunbeam and had lots of these old appliances. No electronic components. You could run over it with a truck and it would still make coffee.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk for each TBSP. of fat. You'll need to add enough to make it to your desired thickness.

Keep stirring until it gets thick. Taste and season it with salt and more pepper, if needed.

When it's thickened, you're done.

Serve it with the sausage and some biscuits.

Sorry, no pictures of the biscuits. They're still in the oven and I've got to get this posted so that you have something to read!

Have a great day everyone.


Jody Blue said...

OK now I want to go south for some "real" sausage! How far south do I have to go to be in the right territory??

scmom (Barbara) said...

Bob Evans 1# bulk breakfast sausage. I use all of it in the gravy. Yum. It doesn't make much fat either, so I have to add butter.

Amber said...

I Swaggarty's sausage, lots of grease and pieces left over. When we make gravy, we add milk. Don't you? (after the flour is nice and brown?)

Suzanne said...

Jody - Tennessee would be good. That's where my grandmother lived.

Barbara - I'll try the Bob Evans.

Amber - GREAT CATCH!!!! I forgot to mention adding the milk. Phew. I went back and corrected that. My sister-in-law called and was yakking in my ear while I was composing the post. She got me rattled and I forgot the milk.

Swaggerty's. I don't think I've seen that brand around here. It must be local. I probably need to make a road trip to get some.

- Suzanne

LDF said...

Mm mmm! Now THAT'S breakfast! Did you put a wee shot of that fresh coffee in the gravy? My Dad used to. He said it "woke the flour up".

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne - Belladella's mom here.
Great recipe to share with us. Here in Virginia, where I come from, there was always gravy. There are a lot of places around this here part of the woods where you can get some good old fashioned homemade sausage. One place I know of is my freezer:>). My 94 year old Auntie Lit gave me 20 lbs, which she had made out in patties and frozen in her freezer. Oh, it was seasoned just right with the sage and pepper. Give me a biscuit, a big slice of tomato and a cake of sausage, put it together and you have yourself a whopping good sausage biscuit...throw on a fried egg and it gets even better.

Just to prove I am not quiet did mention putting the milk in...didn't ya? Thanks again for sharing:). Have you ever had tomato gravy? Scrumptious.


chocolatechic said...

I heart me some sausage gravy.

I use Aldi sausage. It provides enough fat to make the gravy.

Vee said...

Now this is a meal I haven't yet enjoyed. I did cook turkey sausage today for a casserole. It wasn't so great either. Everything is better with biscuits, though.

Kimberly C. said...

mmmmmmm. I love love sausage gravy. We use blue/gold sausage sold from (our) FFA members. Yum!!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

One of the finest southern traditions--biscuits and gravy! We always do it for "special" breakfasts, which is ironic since it is the quintessential poor man's food! But, I must say, I feel guilty every time I eat it! C

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

My mother and "C"'s both made this kind of gravy. My Aunt Irene made the best I ever tasted--she used Pet milk, and that gravy was fine! Yours looks really good too! Wish I had some now. I love Potter's sausage--my mother says it's the best! V.

Steph said...

We always get fresh homemade sausage from a guy we get chemicals for the farm for Christmas every year. I love making sausage patties out of it and also sausage balls!

Sausage King said...

I would love to know more about the flavour and texture of American sausages. I am the UK's leading sausage expert and it would be great to see how they compare.