This is not a “light” breakfast. This is the absolute opposite of a “light” breakfast. This meal is completely filling, ridiculously decadent, and oh-so-bad for you.
It started innocently enough. After Thanksgiving, Maria insisted I take back the remaining carton of Buttermilk. I did not protest. But on the way home, I thought, what am I going to make with these? Steve gave me a few ideas: “buttermilk pancakes? buttermilk dredged chicken or onion rings? buttermilk biscuits?”. And that got me thinking. Biscuits might be a great idea- but what to have them with? Eggs and Bacon for breakfast? No- these biscuits needed something more special- something different. And I knew just the thing!
The first time I had these was when I went to visit my family in Charlotte. They boasted on our way to breakfast at Bob Evans- “Chris, you’re going to love these.” And They were right. I doubted them at first. The gravy looked so thick. And it was white. And you put it on the biscuits? No butter? No jam? But I gave it a try anyway. And wow. Just wow. I felt like I was in a country cabin, surrounded by woods and wildlife, sitting next to a roaring fire in my footie jammies, enjoying the most comforting breakfast ever. I was feeling very,very country.
I hadn’t had them since but I never forgot (how could I) and when I wanted to recreate them I knew exactly who I would google first. Paula Deen, obviously! Well she didn’t let me down. This recipe is almost step by step hers and it does not disappoint!
Buttermilk Biscuits with Gravy – serves 6
barely adapted from Paula’s Kitchen
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted and divided
1 pound Breakfast sausage or plain pork sausage without casing
3/4 cup flour
4 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne pepper. Cut in shortening with a pastry blender or mezzaluna (one of my best friends in the kitchen!). Gradually add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Dough should be sticky. Do not overwork dough!!! I did a little bit and my biscuits didn’t rise as much as I would have liked. Do not overwork the dough!
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness with a floured rolling pin. Cut 12 biscuits with a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter or a sharp knife (I cut them with a cup and I think this also stopped the biscuits from rising as I would have liked… rookie mistakes!!) . Place biscuits in a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Brush the tops of the biscuits with 1/2 the butter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned. Brush with remaining melted butter before serving.
3. While biscuits are baking, start gravy. In in large saute pan or cast iron skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned and crumbly. Add butter and cook for a minute until the butter begins to bubble (Paula adds the butter at the end but I think this is super important for the sauce to begin to form.) Reduce heat to medium and add flour to sausage; mix thoroughly. Cook until flour browns, about 4 minutes stirring constantly. Add milk slowly and increase heat to medium-high. Continue to stir. Add pepper and salt to taste (Add enough. You want this to be really flavorful and peppery). As the gravy comes to a boil, it will thicken. If too thick, add additional milk. After boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
4. To serve place two of the buttermilk biscuits on each plate and top with sausage gravy and garnish with freshly cracked pepper.