Saturday, March 6, 2010

Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy #38 & #39

Biscuits and gravy is one of my all time favorite meals.  I know I've said before I love breakfast foods, and this is probably my favorite. I have tried to make gravy a couple of times before without a definite recipe.  They both yielded disasters- completely inedible.  Hopefully Pioneer Woman can help this out, but to be honest not much confidence on this one. 

First the biscuits.

The case:

4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (3/4 tsp table salt)
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup chilled shortening
1/3 cup cold butter (5 1/3 tablespoons) cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Preheat your oven to 450F.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Stir together. Then add the chilled shortening and cold butter pieces.

3. With a pastry blender, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

4. Pour in the buttermilk and mix gently with a fork until just combined. The dough will be a little sticky, not overly dry or crumbly.

5. Lightly flour a clean surface. Lightly dust your rolling pin with flour. Turn the dough out of the bowl and roll to a 1/2 to 3/4-inch thickness, depending on how thick you'd like your biscuits to be.

6. Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter and place them on a baking sheet.

7. Bake for 11-14 minutes, until golden brown. Do not underbake or the biscuits will be doughy. Brush the tops with melted butter.

The ruling:
To be honest I almost didn't post this at all, but since the point of my blog isn't to share great recipes but to share both the successes and frustrations of trying new things I decided to share.

The failure of the biscuits is completely my fault.  These were actually my second group of biscuits.  I rolled out the biscuits WAY to much.  The first few looked like pancakes and baked hard and burnt.  These were still to thin, but they were edible.  Maybe even decent, but by no means good.  I took a picture looking down on them mainly so you can't see how flat they are. 

Now the gravy.

The case:

- 1 pound sausage
- Flour
- Salt
- Pepper
- Whole Milk (all I had was FF)

1.  Slice and fry sausage according to directions., Remove them to a paper towel to drain.

2.  Pour grease out of the skillet/pan you used for the sausage, adding back in only what you want to use to make the gravy. For one to two people, use about 2 to 3 tbsp. of grease.

3.  Over low to medium-low heat, add about 2 tbsp of flour to the grease and whisk immediately. If you add in a little more grease so it’s smooth and stirrable. You want to find a good balance between the flour and the grease.

4.  Once you find it, just keep stirring with the whisk and allow the mixture to brown for a few minutes. As you whisk, scrape in the anything from the bottom of the pan as you go.  Add sausage bits if desired.

5.  After 2-3 minutes, whisking constantly, pour in about a cup of milk. IF the mixture is dry, lumpy or pasty, add in more milk – again, drawing a balanced mixture. Add salt to taste. Let the gravy warm up over low heat, stirring occasionally. Cut prepared biscuits in half pour gravy atop them

The ruling:

This gravy was pretty good.  I'm not saying its the best I've ever had, but it was good.  I will definitely continue trying to make it and see if practice makes perfect.  Plus, I need to try it with better biscuits.

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