Kicked Up Southern-Style Sausage Gravy & Biscuits

Image Biscuit I normally follow the Weston A. Price and Nourishing Traditions guidelines for soaking grains. Biscuits, unlike pancake or muffin batters, don’t convert well to this method, having more in common with hockey pucks than light, tender, flaky biscuits.

Instead of soaking the grains and buttermilk separately, and trying to figure out how to incorporate the butter and baking powder into a gluey mess, I just make the entire batch of biscuits up, and place them, covered, in the fridge over night. Next morning, I pop them into the oven. Cold biscuits rise up higher and lighter, splitting side-to-side, a sure-sign of success.

I had special plans for this morning’s biscuits. Yesterday, I’d picked up some freshly-made ground pork from a local farmer, and my goal was to create smooth, velvety, creamy sausage and gravy to pour over the biscuits. I’ve made some pretty extreme, complex 5-star breakfasts over the years, and while old-style southern-style sausage and gravy over biscuits is deceptively simply, it’s one of those recipes that brings together your “Best Of” techniques. Knowing that a good bechamel begins with a decently-made roux, for example, is not a beginner’s technique, but instead, one that takes a few hours and batches of practice. Using a roux-technique prevents wallpaper-paste texture and flavor, moving the gravy up to “velvety” descriptions.

Image Sausage Biscuit Both children, two parrots, and the poodle gathered underfoot, their noses taking deep drags of air, questioning, “What is that amazing smell?” Within a few minutes, they were enjoying the freshly-baked biscuits layered with 3-minute poached eggs, topped off with a pool of sausage-gravy, finished with a dash of home-made lacto-fermented jalapeno sauce.

Between bites, they agreed, “Best. Breakfast. Ever.”

While this morning’s success did rely, to some extent, on my ability to pull a number of deceptively-simple elements together into a complex dish, I’m of the mind that 99% of the credit goes to the amazing local farmers who raised or grew this morning’s ingredients. I could make the same meal with grocery-store ingredients, and the results would not be the same.

The industrial food system is so cruel and so horrific in its treatment of animals. It never asks the question: ‘Should a pig be allowed to express its pig-ness?’ And the second thing of course is the urbanisation of the world, to the point where people are not now connected to their ecological umbilical, so that the only connection anyone has to an animal is a pet cat or a pet dog. And that really gives you a very jaundiced view of cycles of life – death, regeneration.” Gurdian UK Interview with Joel Salatin

The food I make would be considerably more bland, if I were to go back to using Horizon Organic Cream, artificially-thickened with carogeenan and preserved with sodium citratre or factory-farmed eggs that come in the carton labeled, “Fed 100% Vegetarian Diet”. What a horrible thing to do to a bird, designed by a Divine Creator, to eat insects! And the same goes for the milk, meant to come from an animal that has spent the better part of its day feeding on a well-cared for pasture, and not confined to a feedlot eating grain, never meant to sustain its life.

Jalapeno Fermented Sauce Any good recipe, begins with real farmers using sustainable, biodynamic methods like Joel Salatin. It is only then, you’ll get the real flavor of real food.

I’m not going to provide recipes for this morning’s components, but instead, general guidelines, using your own favorite recipes and techniques. Any good recipe site, such as Cooks Illustrated, Epicurious, or even some sections of Food TV, generally offer good recipes and techniques.

Basic Components:

  • Buttermilk baking-powder biscuits made with your own cultured buttermilk and hand-churned grass-fed butter
  • Bechamel, made from a simple roux of butter and flour, then milk and cream, Jersey, pastured, grass-fed; make enough so there’s twice as much as your crumbled pork sausage mixture
  • Crumbled pork sausage from pastured, well-loved pigs; browned with onions, freshly-minced garlic, thyme, celery seed, sea salt, Worcestershire sauce (organic), dash of dried mustard powder
  • 3-minute poached grass and bug-fed sunshine-range pastured eggs – use a splash of champaign vinegar or other naturally-fermented product; do not ever use distilled vinegar

More Articles

Upscale Restaurants Embrace Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

Texas-Style: Make a Better Biscuit