Comfort food is kind of a funny thing–I think the things we find the most comforting are usually the things we grew up eating that we don’t realize other people don’t always eat (like at our house, a busy night dinner was hamburger and onions. Like ground beef cooked with onions, usually with ketchup on the side. I didn’t know this was not a thing until I was older!) I think to the un-initiated, comfort foods are often considered weird or gross by other people, like that time I was at my friend’s house when I was a kid and her dad made us chipped beef gravy on toast (or SOS, as he called it…it’s kind of a PG-13 acronym) and I refused to eat it. I’m sorry, Brad Christensen, for being a brat.
So as a little kid, I had no idea biscuits and gravy was a thing. I lived in Utah, which is not a place where one encounters these things on a regular basis, and my mom just didn’t make it. We had our own foods and traditions and things and biscuits and gravy was not one of them.
After my mom died and my dad remarried, I remember going to Salt Lake City with my step-mom and step-siblings. Instead of staying in a hotel like we always had with my mom, we stayed at my step-aunt’s condo. And for breakfast, we had biscuits and gravy. I could not even wrap my brain around such a thing. Why would someone, anyone do this? It sounded gross. It looked gross. I was so far out of my comfort zone and I just kind of felt like I had invaded someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner and I sat on my bed and sobbed. Heaven help all the step-parents out there. But all the step-kids, too, because man, it’s a hard place for everyone.
It wasn’t until college when my roommate Sara (not OBB Sara, the Sara who also introduced me to this Spanish Rice recipe) showed me that biscuits and sausage gravy (and other kinds of meats in other kinds of gravy) are delicious and fit for consumption for all. This has become a staple at our house for busy nights, sad nights, happy nights, celebratory mornings. Basically, it’s like Joey from Friends and the Thanksgiving trifle–breakfast? Good. Dinner? Good. Late-night second dinner? Good. Fancy brunch? Good. Camping in the woods? Good. And it wasn’t until I had some really terrible biscuits and gravy on vacation in Texas last month (come on, Texas, represent!) that I realized this simple recipe is one everyone needs in their arsenal.
You’re going to need 12-16 ounces of breakfast sausage (stay away from the maple, unless you reallyreallyreally know you like maple-y meat in your creamy gravy), Tabasco sauce, salt, freshly ground black pepper, some flour, and milk (2% or whole, 1% if you’re really pushing it and like to break the rules…let’s just establish that while we can make this lighter, making it light will lead to some sorrow.) You’re also going to need some dehydrated onion. But, Kate, why? you ask. Why don’t you use the fresh onion? It’s a matter of personal preference–I’ve found that in order to get the level of onion flavor that I want, I have to use a lot of onion and I don’t like pieces of onion in my gravy. Plus, it’s easy. Just try it. You might like it.
You’re also going to need biscuits. These Southern-Style Buttermilk Biscuits are my biscuits of choice in this situation, but you can also use these Cat Head Biscuits or biscuits from a mix or a can if that works better for you.
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook, stirring frequently. When the sausage is about halfway cooked, add the dehydrated onion and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (few being, like, 10 for me…more if you like it really hot, less if you’re concerned about heat.)
When the sausage is cooked, add the flour and stir to coat completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in 1 cup of milk. When the mixture is thickened and bubbly, add another 2 cups of milk. Season to taste with salt, additional Tabasco sauce, and freshly ground black pepper (I like a lot of pepper…like I feel like this should have a distinct black pepper taste to it.) If necessary/desired, add up to 1 more cup of milk.
To serve, break the biscuits in half and spoon the gravy over the biscuits. Eat immediately.
Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
- 12–16 ounces breakfast sausage (not maple flavored)
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated onion
- 1/4 heaping cup all-purpose flour
- Tabasco sauce, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 3–4 cups milk (2% or whole)
- In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, crumble the sausage and cook, stirring frequently. When the sausage is about halfway cooked, add the dehydrated onion and a few shakes of Tabasco sauce (few being, like, 10 for me…more if you like it really hot, less if you’re concerned about heat.)
- When the sausage is cooked, add the flour and stir to coat completely. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in 1 cup of milk. When the mixture is thickened and bubbly, add another 2 cups of milk. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (I like a lot of pepper…like I feel like this should have a distinct black pepper taste to it.) If necessary/desired, add up to 1 more cup of milk.
- To serve, break the biscuits in half and spoon the gravy over the biscuits. Eat immediately.
- To serve a crowd, the gravy can be kept warm in a crock pot and set out the biscuits so people can serve themselves.
- Serving Size: 6
I am so glad I finally looked up sausage gravy on your blog. And I followed your southern biscuit recipe too and it was the best B & G meal I’ve made! We are all happy! Comfort food at its finest!
Can you make it ahead of time and refrigerate then reheat in a crockpot?
Have you ever tried making it ahead and freezing it? I want to make this for a big group and thought that might be easier.
No…I get nervous when freezing milk based soups and gravies. If you ever try it, let us know how it goes!
It’s our traditional Christmas breakfast over here! One I loved eating as a child and one my kids love now. It’s gotta be homemade, with sausage, and my baking powder biscuits make it amazing. ? Funny, though, because I only make it on special occasions, except for some reason I put it on the menu to make tonight. So it’s just a funny coincidence that I would see this recipe today!
this is a lot like my hamburger gravy, seasoned a bit differently but both start with browned meat, flour and lots of onion and pepper. I like garlic, basil, tarragon and nutmeg in hamburger gravy.
BRAVO!! I made this over the weekend and it was a huge hit. HUGE. Delish. Fairly easy too! I’ve tried to make it before and royally failed every time. This is a winner and now I’m planning to make it Christmas morning for my family. Thanks!
Oh, yay!!! This makes me so happy!