Southern biscuits and gravy

Posted by: jason

One of the advantages of traveling is the ability to taste different cuisine from different parts of the world and the United States. Whether it’s goulash in Hungary, meatballs in Sweden, or wiener schnitzel in Germany – there are plenty of dishes that are a part of the reason to look forward to travel. Trying to recreate these dishes at home can turn out disastrous without the local ingredients or by relying on sub par recipes. Fresh off a trip to Budapest, I made the disastrous choice to order goulash at the Cheesecake Factory. An appalling collection of egg noodles without the proper tasting paprika made for an inedible dinner.

A couple of months ago, I decided to try and recreate biscuits and gravy that I enjoyed while growing up in Texas. I went through at least 50 different recipes trying to replicate the experience. I even went so far as to order Southern self rising flour to try the Touch of Grace Biscuit recipe. Close – but not quite there.

I finally found the biscuit recipe that I think is the best and I thought I would share it with you that has become my Saturday morning tradition. I usually triple the biscuit recipe and double the gravy recipe.

Gather all the supplies
Some of these are optional, but these are the following tools I use for making biscuits
Nordic Ware Bakers Half Sheet – solid baking sheet
Tovolo 14-inch Silicone Solid Spoon – excellent indestructible spoon
Master Chef Spatula – a nice wide spatula for flipping eggs
OXO Good Grips 12-inch Locking Tongs – collapsible tongs to grab food quickly and easily
Biscuit Cutters – it doesn’t matter really what brand as long as their sharp and stainless steel
Roul’pat Mat - a great non slip silicone surface for rolling out the biscuits. I also knead bread on this.
Silpat – a great non slip surface for your pans. No more spraying Pam to keep things from sticking. Plus – you know if you see it on Top Chef, it’s quality.
6 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

The ingredients:
Start by refrigerating 4 TBSP vegetable shortening and 8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter for at least thirty minutes. Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Spray down your baking sheet with a non-stick spray or use the Silpat referenced above. Mix 3 cups all purpose flour, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp baking soda together.

Pour into a food processor. Cut the butter and shortening into 1/4 inch pieces and add to the food processor.

Pulse until it resembles coarse meal.

Take out the flour mixture and add it to a big bowl. Stir in 1 1/4 cups buttermilk until it’s combined. Take mixture out of bowl and put onto a lightly floured surface. Knead briefly 10 times to make a ball. Roll out the dough into a 3/4 inch thick 9 inch circle.

Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter, cut out biscuits and arrange them upside down on the baking sheet.

Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes, then rotate the pan and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees.

Bake until golden brown about 10 to 12 minutes more. Take off pan and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, start the gravy mix by putting 1/2 lb of pork sausage in a dutch oven over medium heat.

Crumble and cook until no longer pink.

Remove the sausage and wipe out the skillet. Melt 1/4 cup butter in the dutch oven. Whisk in 1/3 cup flour until smooth, about 1 minute.

Whisk is 3 1/4 cup milk gradually and cook 12 minutes until thickened stirring often.

Stir in sausage, 1/2 tsp salt, and 3/4 tsp black pepper.

Now, pour the sausage over the biscuit – enjoy!

  • Rhonda said,

    I admire your dedication! I’m from rural AL and have never gone to that much trouble ;)

  • Jason said,

    Nice! All thats missing is a Texas-Sized chicken fried steak…hmm

  • Nick said,

    I don’t have any biscuit-making experience, but I thought lard was one of the key ingredients for biscuits? I seem to remember some people swearing by a particular brand (whose name escapes me) which halted production a few years ago.

  • deltaplat said,

    Your biscuit recipe seems good enough, but you made a big mistake with the gravy. Don’t pour out the sausage grease – use it instead of the butter! Your gravy will be far more flavorful. That’s how we do it in Tennessee, anyway.

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