Sunday, December 20, 2009

Birthday brunch -- Sausage gravy and biscuits

Sausage gravy and biscuits

Last Sunday I hosted brunch for the gang in honor of Larry's 38th birthday.  Well, the 20th anniversary of his 38th birthday.

As the centerpiece of the brunch, I made sausage gravy with biscuits.  A very nice choice!

2 lb sausage meat (I used 1 lb or sage breakfast sausage and 1 lb sweet Italian sausage)
6 T butter
2 T oil
12 T flour
8 cups liquid (stock + milk)
Salt & pepper to taste
Worcestershire sauce

In a 6-quart pot, I broke up the sausage meat, added some water and brought the pot to a simmer to start cooking the meat.  As the water evaporated, I added the butter and oil to help browning , and continued to break up the sausage meat until it was nicely browned. 

I added the flour and cooked it for a minute or two, then added the liquid.  In this case I used 2 cups chicken stock and 6 cups 2% milk.  (My sense is that the 'classic' recipe would use milk entirely, but I had stock on hand and heck, it adds a nice flavor.)

I brought it to a simmer and stirred occasionally until it was thickened, then added salt and pepper to taste.  It will need a fair amount of salt, as you've just added eight cups of unsalted liquid.  I also add pepper with a heavy hand; I think it's appropriate for this dish.  At the end I added about 1 T Worcestershire sauce, which rounds out the savoriness. 

Ladle over freshly baked biscuits, which have been split.  Consume voraciously, as holding back will be utterly impossible.

For the biscuits I used a recipe I found in a recent Saveur magazine:  It's first-rate.  When the biscuits were about 3/4 the way done, I brushed them with melted butter.  Mmmmm.  As I don't have a biscuit cutter, my biscuits weren't round, but square.  After rolling out the dough into a rough rectangle, I merely cut them with my pastry-board scraper.  No scraps, either.

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