I was raised in Laura, KY, now known as Pilgrim, KY, but better referred to, then and now, as the head of Pigeon Roost. And let me just say this, if you are from Pigeon Roost, you know good comfort food. You, no doubt, grew up with some of the best cooks Kentucky ever knew. Since I was a kid, gravy has been a favorite of mine – and I grew up with some ladies that sure knew how to fix it. So even now it isn’t really breakfast until you add some of that goodness to the table! Typically it would be paired with a spread of fried potatoes, scrambled or fried eggs, bacon, breakfast chops, sausage or ham, maybe some fried apples or chocolate gravy, homemade jams and jellies and last but not least, either some fresh from the oven biscuits or a big ole pan of flour bread (pronounced “flair” bread and yes, that’s proper ;-)).
This morning I woke up with a hankering to fix some sausage gravy. Typically, I just fix the gravy without the sausage but occasionally I want it fixed all together for simplicities sake. Since it’s Sunday and we have church in a bit, I wanted something quick and easy. I took the easy way out and put some biscuits from the freezer in the oven but on a less busy day, I would have definitely mixed up some flour bread – that’s another blog for another day. I got out a roll of mild breakfast sausage and threw it in the pan. I like to use my Pampered Chef Mix and Chop to get the sausage a good ground up texture. Once it was fried up, I put the sausage over into a separate container and set it aside.
I used the same pan to prepare my gravy leaving the bits and pieces and leftover grease in the pan. I added enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of my pan good (if you fry bacon, you can use your bacon grease and probably won’t even need any extra oil). I don’t measure when I’m making gravy so it’s all about the visual and adding and taking away when it doesn’t look right.
I turn my heat on high and add a couple large spoonfuls of flour to the pan. I also add my salt and pepper – do not be stingy with it – this will make all the difference in the taste of your gravy. This is especially so if you aren’t using bacon grease. The key to gravy is making sure that you are stirring constantly so make sure you have everything nearby to grab – oil, flour, salt, pepper, and milk. Some people prefer using a whisk but I actually like using a wooden angled turner. You want your mixture to be that of a paste. We prefer ours to be pretty brown but be careful to keep it from scorching. The key is to KEEP STIRRING!
Once I have browned the flour mixture to our liking, I add the milk. If you prefer a whiter gravy, I would cook on a lower temp to prevent the browning.
When you add your milk (I would estimate 2-3 cups for this size batch), your mixture will appear thin. Keep it over high heat and be sure to stir, stir, stir! You want to work all the flour clumps out. Be sure to touch the bottom of your pan to keep everything moving and prevent scorching. Bring your mixture to a boil and it should begin to thicken. (Note: Once it starts to boil, it will thicken quickly so be prepared to cut off the heat.) If it thickens too much, you can add more milk but be sure you keep stirring or the gravy will be clumpy.
Once I was at my desired thickness, I removed from the heat and added the sausage back to the gravy. Gravy is a learned skill – it may take lots of practice to get it just right but be patient and keep trying and you’ll get it! And boy oh boy, will you be glad you did! I hope this encourages you to give it a try! Be sure to let me know how it goes! Happy Sunday and happy cooking y’all! We are off to church now!