I went to college “Down South,” where sausage gravy and biscuits were part of every morning’s ample cafeteria buffet offerings. However, being a northerner, I rarely ever tried it, and when I did, it seemed a little bland and heavy. The first year after graduating, I taught high school in North Carolina (also “Down South”) and noticed that biscuits and gravy were popular there as well. Forty years later, I’ve realized that sausage gravy and biscuits are a much loved breakfast offering for about half of America, the U.S. military generally, and I don’t know who else around the world, so I decided it was time to make peace with sausage gravy. The only way I could really do that was to give it a little more kick, and the easiest way I’ve found to do that is to add a little chopped up, spicier brats. Here’s what I’ve done, and it passed muster with my northern family. If you have a really terrific recipe (maybe a secret family recipe from the South), I’d love to have you share it with us as well. After all, cooking is an art worthy of lifetime learning, right?!
Sausage Gravy and Biscuits with a Flair
Start by baking 8 large biscuits, either from scratch or according to the directions. Once they’re in the oven, start the gravy. (Biscuits take 10-15 minutes to cook, so they should be done just about the time the gravy is done.)Sear in a hot skillet on high heat: 1/2 pound ground breakfast sausage
2 large bratwurst sausages chopped into bite-sized pieces (with whatever level and type of spiciness you might enjoy; I tried one with pepper and cheese and another with mushrooms and provolone cheese, but my guess is that a lot of varieties would add a pleasant flair).Optional: A sprinkling of onion powder and garlic powder. (Being a breakfast item, my husband doesn’t like much of either of these lest it effect his breath during his work day, but they would both add flavor.) Turn the heat down to medium and continue frying until the meat is completely cooked through and nicely browned. Turn the heat down to low, add 1/2 cup flour and stir until the meat is evenly coated and even the flour is starting to brown. (Scrape with a spatula to keep anything from burning.) Continue cooking, adding 3 cups of milk, one at a time, making sure the gravy mixes smoothly and doesn’t form any lumps.
Salt and pepper to taste (You can even add a little crushed red pepper if you really like spice.)Ladle the sausage gravy over the biscuits and serve piping hot! I think one of the reasons I didn’t like it in college was that it wouldn’t be hot enough by the time I ate it. Congealed gravy is never appetizing. 😦 “Let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord” (Psalm 105:3).