If there's just one breakfast that is decidedly Southern, look no further than a plate of traditional buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy. It's a simple recipe with many possible variations in how you make the gravy and the biscuits. For this recipe, we used a simple buttermilk biscuit recipe that was simple enough to make ahead of time. We used self-rising flour and a combination of shortening and butter. The biggest variations we've seen in sausage gravy recipes, however, generally involved whether to add the flour to just the sausage fat to create a roux, or to add the flour directly to the sausage. It turns out adding directly to the sausage worked just fine so we stuck with that. Feel free to play around with the ingredients until you find the right mixture that suits your favorite needs. Here's our favorite Southern style biscuits and gravy recipe...
Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy
- 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 1/4 teaspoons baking powder, and 3/8 teaspoon salt if you don't have self-rising flour)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 4 tablespoons butter (chilled)
- 1 cup chilled buttermilk
- 1lb sage pork sausage
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1/3 cup flour
- 4 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Prepare a floured work surface for shaping the dough and an ungreased baking sheet.
- whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Use a fork or pastry blender to cut in the shortening and butter. Work quickly to turn the mixture into a coarse, crumbly meal. Don't handle directly with your hands to avoid warming the butter and shortening.
- Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a spoon until the liquid is absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides, adding an additional tablespoon or two of buttermilk if the dough is too dry. You want the dough to be nice an tacky.
- Use flour ed hands to turn the dough onto the floured work surface and fold it over on itself 2 or 3 times. Shape into a 3/4" round. Use a 2" biscuit butter and cut out the biscuits, pressing straight down (not twisting). Place the biscuits on the baking sheet so they just barely touch. Reshape the dough scraps and continue cutting until there is no more dough left. Set aside.
- Set a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, crumble the sausage unto the pan and let it brown for a minute or two then turn down the heat to medium. Break the sausage into smaller pieces while it cooks until there is no more pink. Stir in the onions and cook until they are transparent.
- Add the biscuits to the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Sprinkle in half the flour and stir so the sausage soaks it up. Add a little more just before the sausage starts to look too dry. Stir it around and cook for another minute or so, then pour in the milk, stirring constantly.
- Cook the gravy, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens. Sprinkle in the spices (salt, pepper, nutmeg, poultry seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper) and continue cooking until the gravy is thick and velvetty. If it gets too thick, splash in 1/2 cup of milk. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
- Once both biscuits and gravy are done, serve together.
Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman