We do things a bit different in the South. All y’all probably already know that. It’s not always pretty, and there are some Southerners that just embarrass the bejeebers out of me. But, then, BARBECUE!! So it all evens out. Sort of. But, hey! We’ve got some great food, you know?
Recently, I got on a Country Gravy kick. Fried chicken? Gravy. Pork Chop? Gravy. Biscuits? Gravy. It’s the answer for everything. Except dessert. My mom used to swear she could serve me an old boot and I’d eat it as long as it was covered in gravy. She was probably right.
I know I’m not the only one, because Eggs Benedict is so popular, but there’s something about eggs and meat and bread, smothered in somethingorother, that just makes my heart beat a bit faster than normal. I’ve had a lot of different variations on the basic theme, and can’t think of one I didn’t like. But, along with the original, this is my favorite take on an old-fashioned classic.
Milk or half and half
Butter (if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare biscuits per package directions. I use Pillsbury Grands® Original or Buttermilk refrigerated biscuits.
In a large frying pan, cook the sausage until done to your liking. Remove sausages from pan and keep the grease.
Add flour to grease and, using a whisk, combine the two. For two cups milk, I use 1/4 cup of flour and the same amount of grease. If it turns out that your sausages don’t leave that much grease in the pan, you can add a bit of unsalted butter to make up for the lack. Let the flour cook for a few minutes to form a roux, usually about 8-10 minutes.
While the flour is cooking, heat water in a small pot until it’s simmering. NOT boiling… simmering. When it’s hot enough to poach the eggs, add a pinch of salt and swirl the water with a spoon, then drop eggs into center of the whirlpool you’ve developed. Cover the pot, turn off the heat, and set your timer for five minutes.
Back to the gravy. By now, you’re roux should be ready to go and you can make your gravy. First thing to do is to chop some of the sausage to put back in the gravy. Make sure you keep enough to build your servings – about 3 or 4 sausages for each. Chop the rest and return to the pan.
Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Don’t wimp out here. You need to keep that whisk moving until you’ve added all the milk and the gravy has lost any lumps. Bring gravy to a boil and let it go for two minutes, whisking occasionally. If the gravy is too think, you can add a bit more milk to achieve the proper consistency. Remember that when you turn off the heat, the gravy will thicken as it cools.
Now it’s time to put everything together. Slice the very bottom off of each biscuit. Place two biscuits on each plate, topping both with sausages. Next, add the poached eggs, one to a biscuit. Finally, smother it all in gravy. Grind a bit of pepper over the top and serve immediately with extra gravy for folks who just want to drown everything. Like me.
You’ll notice I don’t use vinegar in the water for the poached eggs. That’s because I don’t like my eggs to taste like vinegar. I know most recipes tell you to do it, but I’ve never seen the need.
When the timer goes off, get the eggs out of the water NOW! Remove them with a slotted spoon and rest on a paper towel. Don’t worry; they’ll stay warm. If you leave them in the water, they will continue to cook.
If you want your egg yolks firmer, leave the eggs in the water a little longer. It may take you a few times to find your perfect egg, but once you have found it, you can repeat it every time.
I like to make extra gravy and biscuits for those who want seconds. Normally, that’s all anyone wants for seconds, but if necessary, I’ll poach more eggs as well.
So there you have it: a Southern take on a breakfast classic. Keep in mind, however, that you can make this for any meal. You’d be surprised how often this ends up on my breakfast plate! Have fun, and don’t forget:
Play with your food!
PS – I know the main photo is a bit fuzzy. Unfortunately, I don’t always discover it until I upload the photos to my computer. Stupid iPhone! LOL ~ LB
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