When I started this blog, it read: "Make a cream gravy." All of a sudden it hit me: "Is it possible cream gravy is a southern thing and lots of people won't know how to make it?" I know some of the younger people might not know how because they've been raised on instant gravy. Having that epiphany, I decided to alter my plans.
I remember Alan telling me one time he had just made biscuits and gravy, asking if I would like some. He brought me a plate of them and my mouth starting watering. I took a big bite. "What the hell is that stuff???" That's cream gravy. Turns out it was a packaged instant cream gravy. Just add milk and you get…..(how should I describe it)….a tasteless kinda gelatinous substance. If you salt it you can make a salty kinda gelatinous substance.
I'm going to start by telling you gravy is healthier if you use a vegetable shortening in the base. I'm also going to tell you this…if you want a serious southern cream gravy, you'll use bacon drippings, leftover oil from pan frying chicken or country fried steak.
Remember that all measurements are approximate. Southern cooks don't measure like normal people. I'll explain in another blog. I'm going to start with a true southern favorite: sausage gravy because you make it a little different.
SOUTHERN SAUSAGE GRAVY
1 tube of breakfast sausage. Most people prefer the hot breakfast sausage. I also like the sage flavored one but it's your choice.
1/4 cup sausage grease and vegetable oil if it needs it to make 1/4 cup.
3/4 up flour
3 - 4 cups milk
salt and pepper
Break the sausage up into a skillet. Keep breaking it up as it fries. Fry the sausage slowly because you want to render as much fat as possible out of the meat. Don't just fry until sausage is done. Cook it a little longer to get out as much fat as possible. Place a strainer over a bowl. With a slotted spoon, remove sausage from the pan, place in the strainer and let drain for about 10 minutes.
Place sausage grease back in skillet adding enough vegetable oil to make about 1/4 cup. Heat oil, scraping all the sausage goodies off of the bottom of the pan.
Add about 3/4 cups of all purpose flour, a little at a time, mixing it with the oil. Keep adding until it begins to "come together". Making sure to keep stirring the mixture off of the bottom of the pan, and keep cooking until it begins to turn a little brown.
Stirring constantly, start adding milk, a little at a time, and incorporating with the flour mixture each time before adding more. Keep heat where the mixture will simmer. You can add a little more milk if needed to thin gravy a little but you want it thick.
Add a little salt to taste and go a little heavy on the pepper.
Add sausage back into gravy, stirring in until sausage is hot.
Serve over biscuits, even canned biscuits are delicious. If you have no biscuits, you can serve over toast.
All of the other gravies are made using the grease from where bacon, chicken or something like that has been fried.
Basic cream gravy is just made with the oil, flour and milk. It's wonderful over mashed potatoes. If you're in the South you might even see it over french fries, hash browns, or used as a dip for eggs or meat.
This is how I use up those left over Easter eggs.
I use a stick of butter.
3/4 cup flour
3 - 4 cups milk
Quite a bit of pepper
Salt to taste
and make cream gravy like above.
The difference is after gravy is made, I chop up hardboiled eggs in it. Then I serve over toast.
If I have any ham left over, I will add the ham. However, if you use ham, go really easy on the salt because the ham will add salt.