Biscuits and Italian Sausage Gravy

 

This is what was for dinner last night…biscuits and sausage gravy…Italian style. My daughter is visiting from LA and this is one of her favorite dishes. It’s a Southern classic but perfect for an autumn evening in New England. And makes for an easy, quick weeknight meal. You wouldn’t think so because you may think making biscuits from scratch is tricky and time consuming but they can literally be made in under 20 minutes and they only need to bake for 20 minutes…in which time you can make the gravy. So this can be made in 30 to 40 minutes. And there’s few things quite so satisfying as warm, flaky biscuits straight out of the oven to soak up dark, brown, flavorful gravy loaded with sausage bits.

This is sure to become a family favorite. And…if there are any leftovers, you can have some for breakfast!

Ingredients

(makes about 12 – 18 biscuits)

3 cups unbleached white flour

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup butter – room temperature

I tablespoon sugar (optional)

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter in tablespoon pieces and cut into flour with a fork until all the butter is combined and the flour looks crumbly.

Add buttermilk a bit at a time and mix into the flour. Transfer dough to a lightly floured board and knead a few times. Don’t over knead. It shouldn’t be smooth. Roll with a floured rolling pin to about 1/4″ thick.

Cut with a 2 or 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. Gather together the leftover pieces and knead together and cut a few more biscuits.

Place the biscuits on a lightly greased baking sheet (brush tops with more butter if you like) and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops are firm and golden.

The Gravy

8-9 ounces of Italian sausage – casing removed (broken into pea sized pieces)

1/4 cup chopped onions – fine dice

4 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons (pats) of unsalted butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups chicken broth

Splash of cream

Torn parsley for garnish

Place a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add half the oil and onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize.  Add the sausage in bits about the size of a grape. Cook until sausage is browned on both sides (about 3 minutes) or until the sausage is a dark, rich, brown color. Remove from the pan.

Add the remaining oil and 2 pats of butter. Add flour and stir into a paste. Slowly add the broth and stir to incorporate. Add the sausage bits back to the pan. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth, velvety texture and the raw flour taste is gone.

Finnish with a splash of cream and cook for a minute more. If too thick, add a bit more broth or cream.

Pour over the biscuits and eat your heart out.

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