Biscuits and Gravy

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I had never tried biscuits and gravy before meeting Nathan and visiting his family in southwest Virginia. He grew up only four hours south of me, but Roanoke, VA is far enough south that biscuits and gravy were a regular part of his childhood. My first biscuits and gravy experience was an amazing one because the meal was prepared by Nathan’s older sister who happens to be a professional chef. However, Nathan ordered biscuits and gravy when we were out for brunch recently and the meal was really not all that great. So, that experience made us want to attempt this classic dish at home and add biscuits and gravy to our brunch rotation. That being said, biscuits and gravy don’t have a ton of nutritional value (weekend brunch shouldn’t, right?)…we made ours with buttery and flaky buttermilk biscuits topped with a rich and creamy sausage gravy. However, what the dish lacks in healthiness it makes up for in flavor and we took our version up a notch by adding a pinch of cayenne and a healthy splash of worcestershire sauce. If you’re from the North and have never tried biscuits and gravy you need to make these this weekend…taste what you’ve been missing out on!

Biscuits and Gravy-020 Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Cuvee des Barons, Brut Rose
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.0

This was an interesting and delicious wine! This is a sparkling wine made from a mix of Gamay, Pinot Noir, and Grenache. It’s light, bubbly, and fruity but has a deep, complex and raisiny component due to the Pinot Noir. This wine was awesome with the biscuits and gravy. It brought a nice effervescent contrast but also was a compliment to the richness because it had that depth of a red wine that most sparkling wines don’t have! I highly recommend this wine!

Biscuits and Gravy-021 Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Big Squeeze Shandy, Harpoon Brewery
Rating: 7.25 out of 10.0

This grapefruit shandy was a perfect breakfast beer! While porters and stouts are usually the go-to breakfast beer we felt that the rich flavors of those two styles wouldn’t pair well with the biscuits and gravy. The citrus of the grapefruit helped to cut through the rich gravy flavors and cleanse your palate to leave you ready for the next bite. While this shandy was great for breakfast I don’t know that I would see myself drinking it at any other time of the day… even if I was feeling a shandy I would probably grab a more traditional lemonade shandy over the grapefruit.

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Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Cream Gravy:

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients

For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup very cold buttermilk

For the gravy:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces uncooked Italian breakfast sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Splash of Worcestershire sauce
3 1/2 cups whole milk

Directions

For the biscuits:
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Whisk together the measured flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl to aerate and combine. Add the butter pieces and toss to just coat them in the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes.
3. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, and working quickly so as not to soften the butter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it’s in pea-size pieces. Drizzle in the buttermilk and stir just until a moist, shaggy dough comes together.
4. Generously dust a work surface with flour. Scrape the dough out onto the surface and dust the top with more flour. Using floured hands, gently pat the dough into a 1-inch-thick circle.
5. Using a 2-1/2-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as possible (press straight down through the dough—do not twist the cutter, or the biscuits will not rise properly). Transfer the biscuits to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Gather the scraps into a ball, pat it into a 1-inch-thick circle, and cut out more biscuits. 6. Repeat as needed until you have 8 total. Discard any remaining dough.
7. Bake until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top, about 15 to 16 minutes. Transfer them to a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the gravy.

For the gravy:
1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat’s no longer pink and is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
2. Reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle the sausage with the flour, measured salt, measured pepper, and cayenne. Cook, stirring frequently, until the raw taste of the flour has cooked off, about 1 minute.
3. Gradually stir in the milk, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the Worcestershire sauce. Continue simmering, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 1 minute more (the gravy will continue to thicken as it sits). Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Keep warm.
4. To serve, split the biscuits in half horizontally and top with the sausage gravy.

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