Yesterday we embarked on the most dangerous mission known to man….tax free weekend. No man (or should I say woman) can deny it’s appeal. Credit cards are begging to be swiped, pocket books are pleading to be used, ATMs are yearning for a reprieve.
So our mission for tax free weekend?? Scout out cast iron essentials and haul it home by the dozen. Why you may be wondering?? I have had a cast iron epiphany. It is amazing, beautiful, wonderful, and everything that I could ever hope for in kitchen cookware. I would sell my kidneys for cast iron skillets, and cast iron griddles, and cast iron cornbread pans. But then…I need my kidneys to live. Sooo it would seem tax free weekend is my only hope.
So to reward my boyfriend for selflessly driving his cast-iron crazed girlfriend to the city for tax free weekend…I decided to show him just how necessary cast iron is…by making breakfast. (and hope he doesn’t trade me out for a girlfriend that likes clothes more than cookware) Savory biscuits and gravy should do the trick.
First thing you do…make a pot of coffee. Smell it, drink it, love it. Next, put on the golden oldies. (I know this breaks the country girl persona I have going on…but nothing says a relaxing morning like ‘unchained melody’. Besides, I think you’ll find my taste in music knows no bounds).
Now that your all prepared to make your please-drive-me-to-the-city-and-don’t-think-I’m-weird biscuits and gravy…preheat your oven and gather the necessary supplies: flour, baking powder, salt, buttermilk, butter, and a willpower to not wave the white flag and drink your coffee on the porch.
You should know my mission was almost destined for failure as I realized that I had not a drop of buttermilk. And then I realized…oh yeah, I never buy buttermilk! Make your own by adding 1 tablespoon of white vinegar to about 1 cup of whole milk (side note: I want a dairy cow to live in my backyard and bestow upon me the gift of free, wholesome milk. Taste-Tester says no). I wanted more than a cup of buttermilk so I doubled the ingredients.
Then I combined my dry ingredients for my biscuits: Flour, Baking Powder, Salt.
pssst…If I whisper a secret to you will you promise not to tell!? I add pepper into my flour mixture. You might not see it…but it’s there! And it gives my biscuits a little sumthin’ special. (P.S. I never measure…I grind pepper until my heart’s content).
Now, this precious piece of kitchen equipment will either make or break your biscuits (along with your ulterior motives). So it is important..no, VITAL…to use a pastry cutter when mixing in your cold butter with the dry ingredients.
When your biscuit dough looks like this…your pastry cutter has served its purpose! Now slowly pour in the buttermilk WHILE stirring so as not to sabotage your hard work.
Once the dough starts to come together and is no longer crumbly, dump the dough onto the counter. Attempt not to overwork the dough…otherwise all your hard work will end in tough, inedible things that once resembled a biscuit and you can kiss your dreams of cast iron goodbye. Pat out the dough to desired biscuit thickness! I like them to be oober thick and fluffy.
Place them in the oh-so-important cast iron skillet. Now are you ready for another secret?? Pinky promise you won’t share it? Spacing them out so the edges don’t touch lets the biscuits get crispy on the outside (which is the utmost important biscuit requirement…crispy outside and fluffy inside..my mouth is watering already)
Now lather with melted butter and put in the oven until the tops are golden (15-20 minutes). And Lets start the sausage gravy!!
In another cast iron skillet (or using the same one after the biscuits are done and moved to another pan) place pieces of the pork sausage into melted butter. Fry until brown. Then add flour!! This will make the sausage soak up all its glorious grease and make for a thick and wonderful gravy!
Now remember that extra buttermilk I made?
Add whats left of the buttermilk along with regular whole milk to the gravy. Scrap the bottom of the pan to make sure you get all those splendid bits of sausage.
Cook the gravy until it begins to thicken. Add your pepper…and then a little more…and then a little more…and then just dump the whole pepper grinder in there (okay not really…but lots of pepper required for this dish!)
No one can deny you now. Look at your creation…its a work of genius! Together, you and it could rule the world! Or maybe just your household?
See the man submitted to my biscuit and gravy powers. He is driving me to the city. Perhaps its not selfless afterall…perhaps Taste-Tester has ulterior motives of his own? More cast iron for me to cook his dinners with?
Ulterior motives or not….Mission: Complete!! Now to the shoe store (evil villain laugh)!!!
The Best Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1-1/2 stick cold butter, cubed
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 lb breakfast sausage (pork)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3-1/4 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (or less to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Add flour, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl. Cut in butter pieces with pastry cutter. While stirring, mix in 1-1/4 cups buttermilk.
- Mix until no longer crumbly. Pour out onto counter. Pat until 1 to 1-1/2 inch thickness. Use biscuit cutter and space biscuits in cast iron skillet.
- Brush biscuits with melted butter.
- Bake until golden brown on top (15-20 minutes)
- melt butter in cast iron skillet and fry sausage pieces. Brown until no longer pink.
- Reduce head to medium-low and stir in flour until grease is soaked up and sausage looks dry. Add more flour if necessary. Cook for one minute longer.
- Pour in the remaining buttermilk along with the whole milk. Scrape sausage off bottom of pan if necessary. Stir constantly.
- Simmer gravy until it thickens (10-12 minutes) while stirring every so often. Add the desired amount of pepper and a pinch of salt.
- Continue to simmer. (If gravy is too thick add whole milk in increments to thin it out)
Make sure you taste and adjust seasonings if necessary (Start will small amounts of pepper and add more as you go. You can always add more but you can never take it out).
Serve over hot biscuits with a massive cup of coffee and watch as friends, family, and neighbors envy your biscuit and gravy powers!