It’s a new day and a new region! We’re back in the U.S., so let’s get things off on the right foot. And because we start each day on the right foot with a good breakfast, let’s start with that as, after a long hiatus, we re-enter the U.S., starting with it’s southern parts.
Anyway, it’s been a while since I made a breakfast thing, yeah? Sad, as it is the my favorite meal of the day. Like, I wake up and practically run to the kitchen every morning, not even really for hunger reasons. Maybe I’m just that excited to eat? Because we all know how much I love to eat.
No, because no matter what I’m eating first thing in the morning, whether it’s cereal, peanut butter toast, a protein shake or my Sunday morning pancakes, I just love breakfast. Admittedly I don’t get to sit and leisurely enjoy it but three days a week (stupid real job), but it’s still my fave.
I don’t mix it up all that much, and the foods enumerated a few sentences ago make up the sparse variety of breakfast foods I consume. It’s not that I can’t make more interesting things- I just usually don’t want to do so. I don’t eat my oatmeal anyway other than with just a little cinnamon and pecans. I don’t make my protein shakes with anything more than blueberries. And my Sunday pancakes rarely stray from chocolate chip and peanut butter.
Creature of habit. A stubborn one.
But every one in a while I have reason to stray and this meal, this breakfast, was the perfect one. One perfect, saucy, meaty one.
Ever since Grape has been going down to Southern Illinois for holidays at her in-laws, I’ve heard all about the amazing food that graces the table each year. All of it delicious and indulgent, but no dish has gotten more praise than her mother-in-law’s biscuits and gravy.
Is there a more southern breakfast than biscuits and gravy? Maybe grits, but B&G is just way more exciting, right? Let’s not be boring about it.
I’ll admit that I’ve never been a huge fan. I mean, they’re good, but whenever faced with an expansive brunch menu, I lean either sweet towards the pancakes and waffles or, on the rare occasion I opt for savory, I run for the Benedict (CRAB CAKE BENEDICT!!!). B & G, meh. The funny thing is that my two favorite brunch companions, Apple Crisp and Mom, both LOVE B&G, and Apple Crisp doesn’t really even like meat (though, she also does like Taco Bell’s beef, so…there’s that). There really is something special about this dish, when made right.
Luckily, Grandma Grape was kind enough to share her recipe for her B&G, so we’re all the lucky ones since we’re now in the know.
Your heart attack awaits.
(It’s worth it.)
Note that this recipe uses both hot and mild sausage. Grandma Grape notes that she played Goldilocks on this one- mild was too mild, hot was too hot, so best to mix them. I can’t disagree.
Grandma Grape uses pepper gravy as the base for her recipe, but didn’t have a specific brand. Use what you can find at the store.
On that note, you know how I usually feel about spice mixes and how I’d rather make them at home. I’ve been hanging onto a packet of Moonshiner spice mix that the thieves over at The Spice Heist gave me to try out some time ago to make biscuits and gravy. I like their products because they don’t have any superfluous fillers and crap in their mixes; herbs only. In fact, using the ingredient list, I tried to figure out the proportions on my own for your benefit, and after a half-hearted attempt, threw in the towel and just used theirs. I highly recommend ordering this spice mix if you make biscuits and gravy often.* If you live in Chicago, you can find them here.
Because I didn’t follow Grandma Grape’s recipe exactly and used a very specific spice, I’m going to give you both mine and hers to play with as you will. Because also, I must add herbs to everything. And despite the censure I received from Grape Jelly about “ruining” his mother’s recipe, I hear that there was plate licking in the Grape home last night, so thumbs up from even the harshest critics.
*I was given a complimentary package of Moonshiner, but I was not compensated for this post. All opinions and ramblings are my own.*
- 1 pkg. pepper gravy mix
- 1 1-pound pkg. HOT pork sausage
- 1 1-pound pkg. MILD pork sausage
- 1/2 cup butter
- Milk* (amount depends on how thin/thick you like the gravy), any kind you like
- 1 package of Grands' biscuits
- Prepare biscuits according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, cook the sausages in a large Dutch oven until thoroughly cooked and browned. Remove the sausage and drain the grease, leaving a small amount in the pot.
- While the sausage is cooking, follow the directions on the gravy mix packages but substitute milk for the water. When the sausage is removed from the pot, melt the butter in it; once melted, add the prepared gravy mix and blend with the melted butter.
- Add some milk to thin it out a little, then add the sausage and blend it all together. Keep adding milk until the gravy is the desired consistency. Just a note: the gravy will thicken on its own if it sits on the heat.
- 1/2 lb. hot pork sausage
- 1/2 lb. mild pork sausage
- 1 1/4 cups 2% milk
- 1 package Moonshiner spice mix
- 2 TB unsalted butter
- 2 TB (heaping) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into 1/4" cubes; refrigerated
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 3/4 cup plus 2 TB buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line/grease a baking sheet.
- Cut cold butter into 1/4" cubes and put back into the fridge or freezer
- In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Toss butter into the dry ingredients until coated with flour. Working quickly and using your fingers or a pastry blender, rub or cut butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Alternatively, add flour mixture and butter to food processor and pulse 2 to 3 times to form pea-sized pieces; transfer to a large bowl.
- Add milk to bowl and stir together with a fork until mix just comes together; it will be slightly sticky.
- Drop 1/4 cup sized dough balls onto baking sheet.
- Bake 20 minutes; let cool slightly then transfer to wire rack.
- Cook the sausages in a large Dutch oven until thoroughly cooked and browned. Remove the sausage and drain the grease, leaving about 2 TB in the pot.
- To the grease in the pot, add the flour and cook a little until slightly toasty in color. Add the milk and butter, and whisk to remove any lumps. Add the spice mix and stir well. Add the sausage back to the pan to heat through, adding more milk if desired, finishing with the parsley and served atop biscuits.
- Don't have the Moonshiner? You can order it, or create your own unique blend using your favorite combo of poultry seasonings.
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