Morning Glory

I did not discover biscuits and gravy until I was nearly 20 years old. I never had it growing up. In our house we had brown gravy. And that was it. You got in trouble if your gravy wasn't dark enough. Roux was cooked until it was red, gravy was cooked until it was dark brown. Kitchen Bouquet was not allowed. I thought Kitchen Bouquet was the decoration on the dining room table.

The 1st time I had biscuit gravy, I was at summer camp. Attempting to broaden my horizons, I ponied up to the bowl and dug in with my soup spoon. I should have seen the signs: it had no sausage in it. It tasted like Elmer's paste with pepper in it. Boy was I sorry! Blecch!

The next time, I was in college and a friend suggested I get a biscuit with gravy at one of the local campus eateries. I fell in love. One biscuit with a generous portion of gravy was only 79 cents. Two biscuits, $1.89. There was real sausage, spice, creamy goodness, and a hot crusty biscuit underneath. At that moment, I understood the lure, the joy, the phenomena, that is the gravy biscuit.

Biscuits and gravy are cheap, filling, and incredibly easy to make. It could be one of those dishes a child first learns in the kitchen. It could be taken up a few notches on the elegance factor by using rabbit, venison, or merguez sausage. The biscuit could turn into brioche, naan, or chapati with an apricot or peach compote. Who knows?

My gravy turned out to be a little thick, but nobody complained. Well, not to my face they didn't. And if they want to continue to eat at my house, they won't do it then either.

But I digress...

Biscuits & Gravy Serves 4-5

1 (one) 12oz tube spicy pork sausage
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6-8 freshly baked biscuits

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon or fork. Cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. Whisk the flour into the fat and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. While whisking, pour the milk slowly into the skillet and bring the gravy to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the sausage and season with salt and pepper. Split the biscuits in half and divide them among plates. Top each biscuit with some of the gravy and serve immediately.

It's another Frugal Friday. Check it out...

The whole meal was only $3.89. You could even add a couple of eggs for a few cents more.

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About the author

Nikki Miller-Ka

Nikki Miller-Ka

Ms. Miller-Ka is a classically trained chef with a BA in English from East Carolina University and a Culinary Arts Associate Degree from Le Cordon Bleu-Miami.

Formerly, she’s worked as a researcher, an editorial assistant, reporter and guest blogger for various publications and outlets in the Southeast. She has also worked as a catering chef, a pastry chef, a butcher, a baker, and a biscuit-maker. Presently, she is a food editor, freelance food writer, and a tour guide for Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours.

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  1. Biscuits and gravy are one of those Southern dishes I have never had the pleasure of trying like gumbo and grits. With your recipe I could give it a whirl:D

  2. there is nothing like good biscuits & gravy. My mom & dad took me to a place in Memphis where it was to die for!

  3. Nikki, good job! You looked wonderful in the interview. You sounded professional and looked good. We love biscuits and gravy. Without kowing it was actually a Southern tradition, we started serving these as a snack right after Thanksgiving, my son's idea. We love them. Thank you for the posting. It was great.

  4. Yumm. Good Cheap eats and so satisfyting!

  5. Not til you were 20? Get out!

    You know, I'm not Southern at all, but man, biscuits and gravy have been in the family for eons. I was raised West Coast, but the family background(rooted in the South) stayed with us. Nothing beats a really good biscuits and gravy breakfast.

  6. Val: I hope that you're able to find time to replicate the gravy. It's definitely high on the comfort food list.

    kat: I just had some awesome gravy at a food festival today. No sausage, but it was spot on.

    Teresa: Thank you! They had to do a LOT of editing LOL. I kept on messing up during the interview, or at least I thought I did...
    I can take or leave the biscuits and gravy. But the biscuits can always stay.

    Courtney: You got it!

    complaint mgr: Yeah, dude. 20. I was scared. It was just not something we ate. We're a grits, sausage and egg kind of family. No gravy. And the occasional biscuit. Toast is more common. It's uber-easy.

  7. I LUBS dem. And I might have been older than 20 when I discovered biscuits and gravy.
    I'm thinking of making some California version, soon.

  8. I really like how diverse some southern cooking can be. Different gravies, biscuits, BBQ... and it's all so delicious :)

    I'm actually kind of glad you didn't have stuff like this until 20... that means there's still hope for me to find my fav food identity :)

  9. CC: California version? Wow. I can't wait to hear about this. Hmmm...California cuisine is fresh and new, so...

    Adam: you're right. I think I'm still discovering my food identity, too. I know who I am as a person, it's just the food I need to figure out.

  10. You know, I have avoided biscuits and gravy my whole life...but I'd eat yours! :)

  11. Hey, lady, is your post messed up or is it just me? I feel like a few lines were erased, somehow. Anyway, Biscuits and Gravy. I just don't get it. I love Biscuits and I love Gravy but something about the combination of the two just doesn't sound appealing, but then I gotta say...if you say it is good then I have to wonder. I mean, you do know your stuff. Maybe I'll give it a try.

  12. jenn: I don't blame you for avoiding them. They can be gross :( But thanks for the compliment! Ha!

    one man: Yeah...sometimes the lines disappear. I thought it was just my PC. But if you scroll down and then back up, they reappear.

    I understand the non-appeal. The gravy has GOT to be banging beyond belief in order for them to be good.

  13. I don't get it!

    Gravy is made with meat juices, right? Or maybe a veggie alternative... But milk gravy!??!

  14. Kittie: Instead of meat juices, stock or water, you use milk. It stays white, doesn't get brown. I know, crazy, right? Maybe this is why I didn't have it until 20 years old. The concept is kind of foreign (no pun intended). The only constant in making a gravy is the roux (ROO), the mixture of fat and flour (or cornstarch). The liquid and seasonings are up for grabs. I made a mango gravy for the joust last month.

    Check it out:

  15. I have always loved biscuits and gravy. We make them pretty often at our house - so Southernly delicious!

  16. Wow - so there is a whole new world of gravy to be explored!!

    Thanks for the info!

  17. I am horrified that you were 20 before you had biscuits and gravy. HORRIFIED.


    I make biscuits and gravy all the time for me and my husband -- but I don't take the sausage out first. I just add the milk and flour to the pan with the sausage -- saves a dish :)

  18. Mel: I'm afraid the sausage will get too tough if I don't take it out. I always cook my sausage until it's really crumbly and crispy. I have issue with soggy, grisly sausage, so I make sure it's DONE.


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