Biscuits and gravy is a popular breakfast dish in the South. It consists of buttermilk biscuits covered in thick "country" or "white" gravy made from the drippings of cooked pork sausage, white flour, milk, and often bits of real sausage, bacon, ground beef, or other meat. It’s usually served with a couple of eggs on the side. The gravy is usually flavored with black pepper, fennel and sage. In some parts of the southern United States this is also called sawmill gravy. You can try any kind of ground sausage; Whole Foods offers a great variety. Turkey sausage works very well with this recipe.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 1/4 cups buttermilk* (see note below)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon ground sage
¼ tsp. dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoons pepper
1 ½ pounds bulk pork sausage
3 cups whole milk
1. For the biscuits: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, and shortening in food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined.
2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth, 8 to 10 kneads. Pat dough into 9-inch circle, about 3/4 inch thick. Using 3-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds of dough and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Gather remaining dough, pat into 3/4-inch-thick circle, and cut out remaining biscuits. (You should have 8 biscuits in total.)
3. Bake until biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then rotate pan and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool.
4. For the sausage gravy: Combine flour, fennel, sage, and pepper in small bowl. Cook sausage in large nonstick skillet over medium heat, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle flour mixture over sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until flour has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Serve over split biscuits. (Biscuits can be stored in zipper-lock bag for 2 days.)
*Note – Buttermilk substitutions:
· Use Saco powdered Buttermilk – just add 5 Tablespoons of Saco powdered buttermilk into flour mixture and 1 ¼ cups water in place of fresh buttermilk)
· Whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into 1 1/4 cups of milk and let it stand until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.