Indulge in the unparalleled flavors of my savory sausage gravy. The secret lies in the combination of a few simple spices, elevating every bite to a sublime taste experience. This recipe for Simple Savory Sausage Gravy is the perfect balance of heat to spice to sausage to creamy gravy and is perfect when served over flaky tender biscuits.
Why you want to make this Savory Sausage Gravy for your Biscuits
- What sets this recipe apart, you may wonder? It's the ingenious use of just a few simple spices that elevate the entire dish to new heights of deliciousness.
- With just a few careful seasonings, every velvety mouthful of creamy sausage gravy bursts with a symphony of taste, leaving your taste buds singing in delight.
- Say goodbye to blandness and embrace a gastronomic adventure that celebrates the magic of a handful of spices in transforming an ordinarily rather bland dish into an extraordinary treat of savory deliciousness.
- Why you want to make this Savory Sausage Gravy for your Biscuits
- My Sausage Gravy Inspiration
- Video on How to make Savory Sausage Gravy
- Ingredients and Substitutions
- For the Sausage Part of the Gravy
- Step by Step Instructions
- The Great Biscuit Base
- Great Easy Biscuit Choices
- Simple Savory Sausage Gravy
My Sausage Gravy Inspiration
My adventures with Biscuits and Sausage Gravy began, but where else, in the South.
At a breakfast buffet.
Generally, breakfast buffets offer the usual suspects, scrambled eggs, bacon or apple sausage links, fried potatoes, cereals, both hot and cold, fresh fruit, bread, rolls, you get the breakfast buffet idea.
But as this was the south, there were a couple of new, as yet, unseen, buffet additions.
Next to the hashed brown potatoes was a crockpot that contained Grits. Made from boiled cornmeal, they are usually served with copious amounts of butter and are a staple for a Southern Style Breakfast.
And sitting next to the scrambled eggs was another new addition, Biscuits with Sausage Gravy.
Hot damn, I am going to try these out now. It turns out these were really well-made, delicious, Biscuits with Sausage Gravy.
Unfortunately, they aren't all so good.
Video on How to make Savory Sausage Gravy
Ingredients and Substitutions
Many recipes for Country Sausage Gravy are just a combination of browned sausage, flour, milk, and salt and pepper. Some add red pepper for heat. This is all well and good, and boring. So I kicked it up a notch, or two.
- Sausage - See the do and don'ts of sausage choices.
- Butter - Unsalted is always my preference.
- All-purpose Flour - If you want to use a gluten free all-purpose flour, you may do so.
- Whole Milk - I have tried this recipe with half and half, whole milk, and 2% low-fat milk. I have never in my life used fat-free milk. If I want to cook with water, I'll use water. The best results, a creamy rich gravy without being too rich, came from using 100% whole milk. Half and Half was too rich, and I thought 2% was a little thin. One cup of whole milk has 150 calories and 8 grams of fat, while the same serving of 2-percent fat milk has 120 calories and 5 grams of fat. So for this recipe, I'm going to stick with whole milk.
- Slap-ya-Mama Seasoning - This is my secret ingredient. Slap Ya Mama* spice mix, which can be found in almost all grocery stores. Slap Ya Mama is quite salty, so DO NOT ADD SALT until you taste and adjust. If you can't find this seasoning mix, use 2 parts season salt to equal amounts of cayenne pepper and garlic powder.
- Additional Spices - Include Thyme leaves, sage, and black pepper.
For the Sausage Part of the Gravy
This is, after all, sausage gravy, so naturally, the sausage part of the program is important.
First the DO NOTS:
- Do not use Italian sausage.
- Do not use flavored sausages such as apple or maple.
- Do not use plain ground pork.
And now for the DOs
- Do use breakfast sausage. Although pork is the standard you could use turkey, or chicken, as long as it's labeled breakfast sausage. Breakfast sausages contain some flavoring already, a blend of spices that includes some mixture of sage, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- You can use mild or hot breakfast sausage, I prefer to use mild and put the flavor into my gravy.
- You can use bulk or links.
I like to use Farmer John Classic Pork Links and I'll tell you why. They have a breakfast sausage flavor that I have enjoyed for years and years, and that makes them comfort food.
They are very quick to defrost, unlike a big lump of ground breakfast sausage. Put them on a plate and in about 10 minutes they are soft enough to crumble.
Portion control. I figure 2 sausages per person. So when it's just BB and me, I use 4 links. If I have more people, I add links @ 2 per person. Simple easy measure.
Step by Step Instructions
Over medium-low heat, break the sausage up into small pieces, and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
If your sausage was extremely fatty, remove all but 1 tablespoon of the sausage fat, then add back 2 tablespoons butter. Stir into the sausage.
Start adding your flour, slowly. Add half of the flour and stir until it is well incorporated and starting to brown just a bit on the bottom of the pan.
Stir until you see no more flour in the pan.
Continue to slowly add the flour, a bit at a time
and stirring it into the sausage until it is starting to brown on the bottom of the pan.
Slowly start adding the milk, about ½ of the total 2 cups, and stir until smooth and starting to get thick. Be sure to get any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
As the gravy thickens, add more milk, a bit at a time until you have the thickness of gravy you desire. Do not rush this process. It may take 10 - 15 minutes to get the gravy how you want it.
Add the spices to taste.
Stir until all is smooth and you have the right consistency for your sausage gravy. If too thick, add additional milk. Taste and adjust seasonings.
The Great Biscuit Base
One of the first things I learned about making great biscuits and gravy is, you have to start with a great biscuit.
I had soggy biscuits, doughy biscuits, hard biscuits. The best biscuit for a sausage biscuit is a light, tender, biscuit. At least I think that is the best biscuit. So I found a recipe that makes a Tender Buttermilk Drop Biscuit. It is the perfect base for this equally simple savory sausage gravy.
The main difference between country gravy and sausage gravy is that country gravy is made with a roux of butter and flour only while sausage gravy includes cooked and crumbled sausage. This gives it a distinct and flavorful twist compared to the simpler, traditional country gravy.
For best results, yes. I like to split my into halves and then put them under the broiler to just get the top toasty before putting the gravy on top.
Biscuits and gravy in some form may go back as early as the Revolutionary War, but many food writers and culinary historians position its birthplace in Southern Appalachia in the late 1800s. It may have started as a way to use up day old biscuits as well as making a gravy with just sausage drippings.
I have found most of the time my sausage does not leave that much grease behind, and since you want some I would say no. Not generally. Unless you have a very high fat sausage that leaves more than a tablespoon of grease, I would not drain it.
You can keep this savory sausage gravy in the refrigerator for a few days. If keeping longer, freeze it.
Cool it to room temperature, put it into an airtight container, and place it in the freezer. It will hold nicely for a few months when frozen. Or, once frozen, put it into a seal-a-meal bag, and it will keep nicely for at least 6 months. Or more.
Thaw frozen sausage gravy in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat slowly on the stove-top adding some additional milk as you reheat it to get it back to the consistency you desire. Be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning after reheating it as the additional milk will dilute the flavors.
Great Easy Biscuit Choices
Simple Savory Sausage Gravy
- 4 - 6 ounces breakfast sausage about 2 ounces per person
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 - 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Slap yo Mama seasoning (or a mixture of ½ tablespoon season salt, along with ½ teaspoon red pepper and garlic powder) or to taste
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme or to taste
- Pinch dried sage if leaves use your fingers to pulverize it
- Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
- Using your fingers, break the breakfast sausage into small pieces in a large skillet, and cook over medium heat. When it loses its pink color, add the butter, and cook stirring, until the butter is melted. Add half the flour and stir until absorbed into the butter and coats the sausage, continue adding the flour little by little, stirring it around until it has all been used and the pan looks dry, and the flour starts to brown, about a minute more.
- Slowly add 1 ½ cups of milk, stirring constantly until it thickens, adding more milk as needed. This process can take up to 10 minutes, so don't add too much all at once, add as needed until you get a nice thick "gravy". If the sauce becomes too thick, add more milk in small amounts.
- Once the gravy is nice and thick, add the Slap yo Mama or equivalent, thyme, sage, and black pepper. Stir, and taste. Adjust seasonings and serve immediately over warmed halved biscuits.