Biscuits and Gravy: a very important cowboy staple. So dadgum delicious. And the gravy technique is applicable to just about any gravy situation you may come across on your path through life, like chicken fried steak or even turkey at Thanksgiving.
To those of you who arrived here thinking you were visiting the website for Cooking Light magazine: turn around. Run. Far, far away. And whatever you do, don’t look back.
For the rest of you, I’d like to show you how to make a very important cowboy staple: Biscuits and Gravy. Now, nowhere in this post will I attempt to claim that biscuits and gravy is even remotely good for you. In fact, it’s not good for you at all. There is nothing nutritionally redemptive about biscuits and gravy, and for that reason I’m sure the idea for the dish was conceived by Satan or at least one of his cronies in the first place. That said, biscuits and gravy is sooooooo dadgum delicious. That Satan really knows how to cook.
A couple of author comments: well, aside from the one above about biscuits and gravy being death on a plate. First, this gravy technique is applicable to just about any gravy situation you may come across on your path through life. It works for chicken fried steak, even turkey at Thanksgiving. Basically, you take the fat that’s been rendered from some form of meat, stir in enough flour to make a thick roux, cook it for a bit, then add some form of liquid, stirring it around, until it reaches the proper consistency. It only takes a little practice to learn to make perfect gravy, and once you’ve mastered the skill, doors of opportunity will open for you left and right.
Second, and please don’t be hatin’ on me, folks: for the purposes of this post only, I am using—gulp—CANNED BISCUITS. The reasons for this are numerous, but high on the list is that Marlboro Man prefers canned biscuits to homemade. Call it a tiny culinary quirk. Second, this post is really all about the gravy, and whatever biscuit you ultimately decide to use is merely incidental. If you’re going to write me a complaint letter about my use of canned biscuits, please fall on your knees and pray about it first…and as you’re praying, ask yourself, “If my main squeeze preferred canned biscuits to homemade, would I really go to all that trouble to make homemade biscuits for this post, knowing they’d wind up either in the trash or on my BOTTOM?” I’ll bet you’ll rethink things.
Let’s get started, shall we?
The Cast of Characters: Breakfast Sausage, Flour, Milk, Salt, Pepper, and Biscuits.
Begin slicing your sausage…
Until it’s all sliced.
Into a warm skillet…
Begin placing the slices.
Cook them according to package directions…
Until thoroughly cooked inside.
Remove them to a paper towel to drain.
Please don’t judge me.
Go ahead and throw them in the oven to begin baking.
Now it’s time to get serious. See all this grease? Depending on how many gravy eaters you’re cooking for, you may not want to use all of this. On this particular morning last weekend, all four of our punks were at my dad’s and I was watching my waistline. So I really was only making gravy for Marlboro Man. But then I realized I wasn’t kidding anyone and that I’d wind up scarfing down at least some of the stuff. So I planned on gravy for two.
When that’s the case, I pour out all the grease first…
Then add back in the quantity of grease I want. For one to two people, I use about 2 to 3 tablespoons of grease.
Over low to medium-low heat, add about 2 tablespoons of flour to the grease…
And whisk it together immediately.
If you add a little too much flour and the mixture seems too dry, feel free to add in a little more grease so it’s smooth and stirrable. You want to find a good balance between the flour and the grease.
Once you find it, just keep stirring with the whisk and allow the mixture to brown for a few minutes.
A minute later, it’s already starting to deepen in color…
Sometimes if I’m bored, I’ll throw in a few little bits of sausage. But only if I’m bored.
Keep whisking, scraping all the good stuff from the bottom of the pan as you go. And I highly recommend one of these flat whisks. You’ll want to make gravy morning, noon, and night.
How do ya like that color NOW? This has cooked for about 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Elvis would be drooling right about now.
Now, whisking constantly, pour in some milk. I started with about a cup.
It wasn’t nearly enough. See how dry and pasty it still is?
So I added another cup.
Better, but it’s still not quite enough: when you can see lumpy, pasty areas, you haven’t added enough milk.
So I added one more cup…and I think we’re good to go.
Yep, this is lookin’ good.
IMPORTANT: You must add salt to the gravy. Without salt, the gravy is doomed to mediocrity. Taste it after you add the salt; if it makes your heart sing and your knees go weak, it’s just right.
Now just let the gravy warm up over low heat, stirring occasionally. And here’s the great thing about gravy: if it starts to get too thick, just splash a little more milk in, stir, and allow to thicken back up for a minute or so. As long as you monitor the salt content as you go, you can do this at least two or three times without affecting the consistency of the gravy.
Now halve as many biscuits as you want to devour and place them, face up, on a plate.
Now make like Elvis and gitcha some of that gravy, baby.
As you spoon it over the top of the biscuits, begin making plans about how you’re going to expend these godforsaken calories later in the day.
Maybe you could walk an extra half mile, or ride a bike up a steep hill, or run up and down your stairs a few dozen times. Or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, dig out your Betamax and those old Jack Lalanne videos. That’ll really make your heart start pumpin’.
But don’t worry too terribly much about that stuff, my child.
For now, just concentrate on what’s sitting on the plate in front of you.
And pat yourself on the back while you’re at it. Because you’ve just made biscuits and gravy!
Entire kingdoms have been built on lesser accomplishments than that.
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