Sunday, March 27, 2011

Biscuits & Gravy

Biscuits & Gravy
Big thanks to Nina D. for this gut filler!

Sausage Gravy:
1 lb. pork sausage
1/4 teaspoon dehydrated onion or 1 Tablespoon onion
4 Tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
3/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cloud Biscuits:

4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
8 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (palm shortening is awesome and not hydrogenated!)
2 beaten eggs
1-1/3 cups milk
You'll bake these for 10-14 minutes

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. We'll start off with the sausage gravy and let it simmer while we make the biscuits.

Brown the sausage in a large fry pan. There needs to be brown... not just cooked & gray.

Add onions and cook it all for five minutes. Stir in the flour so the sausage looks like this...
Cook the flour and sausage until it bubbles and turns golden brown

 Pour a little bit of milk into the sausage to mix with the flour on the sausage. Keep stirring and pour in the rest of the milk. (Note that I doubled the gravy recipe so my pictures will be a lot more than yours... unless you double too!)

 Turn the heat to low or medium-low and let it just slowly warm while you start on the biscuits.
Mix the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Whisk it all together.
 Easy way to measure shortening: Measure 2 cups of cold water in a 4 cup measuring cup.

 Add in your shortening by the spoonfuls until it reaches the next "cup" line. I doubled this recipe so my 2 cups shortening + 2 cups water measures up to 4 cups. Using your spoon to keep the shortening from falling out, pour off all of the water.

 Dump the shortening on your flour concoction.
 Go stir your gravy, scraping the bottom.

 Cut in the shortening. I highly recommend spending the five bucks to get the right tool. You can do it with a fork (which I did for years) but it is so much easier. Just keep pushing the cutter down the sides of the bowl, through the shortening over and over.

 First, it'll get clumpy. Just keep going.

After five minutes or so it will look like this. Chunks are good. That's what makes your biscuits tear apart without a knife.
Go stir your gravy, scraping the bottom again. And turn it to low if it's not already.

 Dump in most of the milk reserving a little back. You don't want it too sticky or then you'll have to deal with adding more flour. You can always add more milk.

 Start stirring and mashing it together with a fork.
 When it looks like the picture below, start mixing it by hand.

 Look at that sexy, swollen, red hand. I must have been working hard! Just keep folding and smashing, folding and smashing.
Stir your gravy again :)

 Don't make it smooth or your biscuits won't be flaky. Just about like below.

Cover a wooden cutting board with a flour sack towel (stretching it around the edges to keep it tight) and cover it with flour. Or, just flour your counter.

Roll it out to 3/4 or 1/2 inch thick and cut them with a cutter, or a glass.
Yup, stir your gravy. It should be slowly getting thicker. If not, don't worry. We can thicken it quick once the biscuits are in the oven.

 I like to roll mine nice & thick.

 Place them on a cookie sheet. I usually smash as many onto a pan as possible but decided that might not look so nice in the picture. It's up to you. Bake them for 10-14 minutes. I do 12.

 Your gravy should be thickening and turning a light shade of orange (from the nutmeg & pork fat - Yum!). If it's not thick, turn up the heat to medium and scrape the bottom constantly. It will thicken more as it cools.

 Pull out your biscuits and immediately remove them from the pan.

 Pull the biscuits in half and cover both sides with gravy. Can you feel your arteries clogging? Yum, yum! Hey - I used skim-milk so I'm sure they're good for me!

Note my sorry attempt at taking a picture of food on a plate. Suggestions are welcome. I am NOT a photographer. Just stuff it in your mouth and tell me if you like it! ;)

A funny: I totally forgot to add the eggs in this recipe when I baked it. The biscuits came out awesome! A nice bit of knowledge to stick in my back pocket when I'm out of eggs and want to cook a biscuit. Sweet.

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