Have I ever told you about the time I made a cream gravy for a special boyfriend many years ago? We had reached our six month dating anniversary, and so, to celebrate, I was making him a dinner of hamburger steak, mashed potatoes, gravy, and I can’t remember what else.
Everything was coming along pretty well. I called my mom five or twenty times while I was preparing the food, mostly so that she could walk me through the gravy making process. I thought I had it all figured out and soon, it was time for us to enjoy our meal together.
But the gravy. Somehow between hanging up the phone with mom, calling my boyfriend in for the meal, and serving the food – the gravy (if, in fact, we can call it gravy) had turned into a thick, heavy paste like substance. How could this have happened?
Never fear. My boyfriend was very kind. He simply got a butter knife and spread chunks of gravy onto his meat and potatoes. Then he proceeded to eat heartily, and even complimented me on the great flavor of the food.
Yeah, he was a nice one all right. I shouldn’t have let that one get away. Oh wait. I didn’t. A few months after I made him choke on gravy, that nice boy asked me to marry him. I guess he figured that if he could survive my gravy, we could get through anything – thick and thin. (Ha, get it? Thick and thin? The gravy was thick. Get it? Okay, it wasn’t that funny.)
I have since then perfected my gravy making skills, much to the delight of my
boyfriend husband, and all of our darling offspring. Here is my sausage gravy recipe and a picture tutorial that will hopefully spare you all from making the same pasty mess that was once my “gravy”.
Homemade Sausage Gravy
1 pound turkey sausage (I like using this homemade recipe.)
1 Tablespoon plus 3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour (I use freshly ground white whole wheat)
2 1/2 cups milk
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Begin by browning the sausage with one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet until it is cooked thoroughly.
Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, stirring it around until is has melted.
Sprinkle in the flour. Stir it around with the meat and butter until it is absorbed.
You should now have kind of a thick, meat mixture in your skillet. Turn the heat on your burner up to “high”.
Pour in the milk, and stir constantly. I find that I must leave the burner turned to “high” in order for the gravy to thicken.
Continue to stir over high heat until gravy becomes thick and bubbly. Remove the gravy from the heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Trouble shooting your gravy: If your gravy turns out too thick, simply add more milk, small amounts at a time, continuing to stir, until gravy is the desired consistency.
If your gravy fails to thicken, mix a “paste” of 2 Tablespoons flour with 3 Tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture into your gravy, little bits at a time until the gravy thickens to desired consistency. Do NOT sprinkle flour directly into the gravy. That’s how lumpy gravy is made. :)
We love this gravy served over these Whole Wheat Biscuits.
Have any fun stories about boyfriends or gravy you’d like to share? :)
Laura, I was reading your recipe and noticed something:
1 Tablespoon plus 3 Tablespoons butter
is this right?
Yes, sorry for the confusing look to that list. In the instructions you’ll see that you use 1 Tablespoon of butter to cook the sausage, then the other three Tablespoons are used later to form the gravy. Hope that helps makes sense of it!
I noticed that also but still got puzzled. Guess it’s time to hit the hay. :D
maybe “4 tablespoons, divided” would be better wording?
I followed the directions word for word and my gravy turned out AWESOME! I don’t think it’s that complicated. Clear enough for me, anyway.
Hilarious! this sounds pretty much like my own first gravy making experience except I never called mom cause I watched mom and figured that was good enough. Well I served his food and he started to eat. I asked how the gravy was and he told me it was good. Then I sat down to eat and took a taste of the gravy and went “This is gross! Do you really think this is good?” He said “I’m so glad you said something, cause I didn’t want to be mean so I kept eating it!”
I married that boy too ;)
I am the world’s worst gravy maker and my MIL is the best, but once I was trying to make it “all by myself” and messed it up, so I asked her to come and help and her first words were, “do you have a blender?”….just not my strong suit….
Cute story! My sweet hubby loves it when I make the Turkey Sausages from Nourishing Traditions and make gravy from the drippings. We like to eat it w/scrambled eggs, gravy on them too! Oh yum…making me hungry!
Ok, since you ASKED about a gravy story…I figure I have one to tell…LOL. Several years ago I was excited to have my mom visiting from out of state for Easter. One thing I was extra excited about was mom making her ham gravy. Yum! Nobody does it like my mom! So, in my tiny house I had a galley style kitchen with an entrance/exit on each end. I had as many people at my house as I’ve ever had, there were probably 15 people there,they were stuffed in there good! So, I was standing barefoot on my kitchen’s tile floor reheating mom’s precious gravy in the microwave. As I stood there salivating I am pretty sure I heard Angels singing as I watched it spin around in the microwave. I took it out of the microwave and somehow it immediately boiled over and the hot gravy went all over the ground. My first thought was “don’t move or you’ll fall” but I fell anyway. I’m quite sure I performed some amazing acrobatics during my fall. So, I was laying on the kitchen floor laughing and crying covered in gravy while my grandmother in law and aunt in law prayed over me (I was hurt but I survived). Others were peeking around the corner observing me like I was on display at the zoo. Ever since then I’ve had others tease me about my “near death gravy experience”. So, the moral of the story? Reheat gravy on the stove! ;)
I make that same type of gravy, but I add the traditional breakfast sausage herbs, and I serve it with a cheddar cheese, and onion scone.
When I met my now husband, he was quite the mama’s boy. We had a discussion in which I compared myself to gravy, and his mama to milk. Which do you want? He says gravy every time! ;)
I have a boyfriend turned husband food story… I was a single mom with a 1 yr old daughter. Money was tight so I ate alot of budget friendly meals (no meat). I had been dating my boyfriend for a couple weeks and decided to cook for him. I made spaghetti with homemade sauce, homemade garlic rolls, and a beautiful salad. I take alot of pride in my cooking. I was hoping to impress him with all my culinary skills. We sat at the table and he took one look at the food and said “where’s the meat?” Talk about a deflated ego. He couldn’t get over that I didn’t serve meat in the sauce but he said it was all very good anyway.(He could tell I was distraught!) The next day I came home from work and found 80lbs of meat in my fridge. Taped to the bundle was a note that said, “If you’re going to cook for me, I need meat.” He had gone to the butcher shop and bought a beef bundle! That was 15yrs ago and he’s had meat in every meal since!
Aawwww! Sweet story! I would have been deflated too :)
Obviously he wanted you to continue to cook for him! What a great story, so sweet.
Jamie Garcia says
That is the sweetest story I’ve read today.
I love men who love their wives :)
Is that cast iron? How in the world do you get it clean after cooking dairy products in it? I am still new to using my cast iron, but love it! But, if I cook anything with dairy in it, it is a nightmare! Any tips?
First, after your cast iron has cooled, run hot water in it and soak. Then after a while (may take 30 minutes may take a half a day) scrape w/ a plastic scraper, like the ones you get from Pampered Chef, and remove all food. I sometimes use a little soap, but not usually. After you get it clean, set it on an eye of your stove, turn it on high until it’s nice and dry. At that high of heat it will kill any bacteria that may have still been present. I usually don’t need to re-oil, but I know some people will wipe cooled cast iron w/ a light layer of oil.
Clear as mud, right?? HTH! :)
Yes, that’s exactly what I was going to say – I use my Pampered Chef plastic scraper and it works GREAT!!
I was wondering about this to. I cooked my sausage in my cast iron but it was to small to make the gravy in it so I switched.
I was wondering about this to. I cooked my sausage in my cast iron but it was to small to make the gravy in it so I switched.
The best way I’ve found to clean cast iron (the scraper idea works well, but… I can’t always find mine LoL – I have preschoolers helping to put dishes away, and occasionally, things end up in odd places)… SO, when I can’t find those (which is often), I use salt. Any kind will do, but coarse is best ~ sprinkle a small handful of salt into your cast iron pan and use a rag to scrub things out. It won’t damage your cast iron, but will be abrasive enough to get the *stuff* out of it. For really tough, stuck on things, I pour in some salt, about a 1/2 cup or so of hot water, and a couple tablespoons of vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes, then scrub. Be sure to season your cast iron after washing by rubbing with a light coat of oil afterwards :)
Wendy Clark says
I love sausage gravy!
Your gravy looks yummy! We love biscuits and gravy. I make some every weekend:)
I am the worlds worst gravy maker. My solution? I married a man who doesn’t like gravy! My dad grew up in the south, so he was the gravy maker in our house (although my mom is pretty good at it) so my attempts at gravy have always included lots of phone calls to him!
I love making gravy, which is good because my husband LOVES gravy. :)
Growing up we didn’t care especially for sausage gravy (I’m still not a big sausage fan) but my mom would make us hamburger gravy (same method) and we would eat it with biscuits, toast, or mashed potatoes. I consider it one of my favorite comfort foods now.
[email protected]'s Nest says
We love sausage gravy and biscuits. I also use turkey sausage and make soaked biscuits…delicious. I don’t know if I could really give anyone a recipe, I just throw in what looks like the right amount of everything and it turns out right(Of course I’ve been making it for about 35 years..so I ought to have it right). You do a great job making things easy for people to follow.
I make gravy just like you do. A little of this a little of that until the consistency and flavor are good. We LOVE gravy!
I made this, this morning for breakfast with biscuits & scrambled eggs. It was easy and turned out great.
We love sausage gravy!!!!!!!!!!
The first argument I had with my new husband, nineteen years ago, was over gravy. I love milk-based gravy like your recipe here, but he told me if it wasn’t brown, it wasn’t gravy! It wasn’t immediate, but I finally realized it just wasn’t a conversation we could have. I’ve learned to like water- or broth-based gravy quite well, and if it isn’t brown enough, I just pour in a little coffee. I get milk gravies at restaurants or at my parents’ house.
I regularly makes sausage gravy but use beef broth instead of the milk. I know that that would be a different topic on some level, however; I follow the same techniques mentioned with the milk gravy. My husband says when I make it this way it tastes just like Bob Evans sausage gravy…
I used to gravy to make a delicious breakfast casserole. It can be made the night before or fresh in the morning. I first layer hashbrowns (which are optional), then scrambled eggs, crumbled biscuits, my homemade gravy, and top with my favorite shredded cheese. Baked until melty or golden and this makes a delicious meal!
Jill Roper says
sounds yummy, thanks for sharing.
Do you cook the eggs first or just scramble in the bowl and pour raw, mixed eggs on top of the hashbrowns? I make another breakfast casserole and the eggs just cook while the hashbrowns are baking.
I do cook the eggs to speed cooking.
I think gravy can be frustrating! My husband LoVeS gravy, though! I don’t make it nearly as often as he would like to have it…I guess partly because I think gravy can be frustrating! :)
My mouth is watering! I haven’t made this dish in so very long because my dairy allergic dd can’t have it. I might have to sneak it in on a night she is at gymnastics though, yum!
I made it last night with Lactaid milk and it turned out perfect.
I make it with unsweetened coconut milk for my dairy allergic son. Just
make sure your base oil/fat/cracklins are tasty and put in a bit more
salt and check the spices at the end and adjust as needed. Good luck!
Yum, my dh loves sausage and biscuits. Made it New Year’s morning to start the year off right. He, too, had to graduate from boyfriend tolerating so-so gravy to a husband that truly enjoys it now. Your recipe is slightly different than mine, so I’ll give it a whirl as it eliminates an ingredient from my current recipe that I don’t usually have on hand. Wouldn’t dh be delighted if I made sausage and biscuits more often!
since you asked…
my fiance (now hubby) had mentioned that he really loved biscuits with sausage gravy. feeling like a pretty competent cook (and i had made it numbers of times before), i made it for him. it turned out horribly. to this day i have no idea what went wrong. of course he ate it, and obvs still married me but he likes to kid that he nearly changed his mind after tasting my gravy.
we like ours with chopped hard-boiled eggs, a drizzle of maple syrup and a couple shakes of tabasco stirred in as well.
Thank you so much for this recipe. Many times in our six years of marriage we have made blob gravy. I did ask my MIL to teach me how she does it but we havent got together yet. So on the menu laast night (Monday) was breakfast. What that meant I wasn’t sure, just some kind of breakfast food. So when I got up yeaterday morning and did my daily blog check I said we are making buttermilk biscuits and sausage gravy. This was a hit. I thawed out deer burger and added the sausage spices and whipped the biscuits up and the very yummy sausage gravy.
Thank you again for this post.
Oh boy! we love biscuits and gravy here!! I’ve perfected the gravy after many years, my trouble is the biscuits :-( . I feel like I’ve tried it all. I don’t like to admit it, but it is the only thing I still us shortening on. Shortening makes the best biscuits for me, unfortunatly.
I will try your biscuit recipe again. Do you think Kefir could replace the buttermilk without any issue?
What do you think about replacing my shortening with coconut oil… hmmmm. Sounds like there is more biscuits in my future!
Yes, you could try using coconut oil instead of shortening, but I’ve also had great success with Palm Shortening that I get from Tropical Traditions. (http://tinyurl.com/3tf2qnj) I love that stuff and it’s actually a healthy shortening. Yes, definitely Kefir would work instead of buttermilk.
Laura – This sounds delicious! Does leftover gravy store well? If so, how do you store it – freezer or fridge?
I don’t think I’ve ever stored it in the freezer, but it does store great in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks usually.
Gravy freezes very well. I freeze all kinds of gravy. Reheat it on the stove in a saucepan and keep stirring until it looks like gray again.. It will look seperated and curdled but just keep heating and stirring. You may need to add a small amount of water if it is too thick and do taste to se if it needs salt or other seasoning adjusted.
I make very good sausage gravy but my husband only likes the sausage gravy at a local family owned Greek resaturant where we frequently eat breakfast. There is some kind of seasoning in that gravy that I have not been able to duplicate. Anyone have a Greek sausage gravy recipe? I would so like to make it at home but the recipe is the secret of the owner.
Cindy C says
Does anyone know if you can use arrowroot in place of the flour to thicken gravy? And I am happy to see the idea of using the deer burger and using the spices.
Priscilla W says
what can I a substitute for the cultured buttermilk in the biscuits? I don’t have buttermilk. If I do the vinegar & milk option to make a substitute for the buttermilk, the mix with the flour…can I let that set out overnight?
[email protected] says
You can use the vinegar and milk as a substitute. It will be fine to leave it out overnight.
Sarah T says
Loved the gravy! I tried it and it was delicious! I did have trouble with the biscuits however. I thought I followed your directions, but mine do not look like yours. Mine ended up flat and hard. Are they supposed to rise at all?
Yes, they should rise a little bit. I wonder if you’ll need a little bit extra baking powder next time?
Hey guys, my sister is coming home for the holidays and wants me to make biscuit and gravy. The only problem is she doesn’t like ground sausage…could I use bacon you think???
[email protected] says
That should work!
Biscuits N’ Gravy has become a stable in our house, YUM! Within the same week that I make this I always make homemade pizza and I save a crust. One of the mornings I put the sausage gravy on the crust for the “sauce”, whip up some scrambled eggs, lay those on top and top with cheese, pop in oven…and tada! breakfast pizza, pretty much all from leftovers=) the sausage gravy on the pizza gives it a rich flavor, and its very filling!!
I made it with bacon when my sister came home for thanksgiving. I would suggest cutting it up in small pieces before frying it and most importantly remove about half of the fat drippings. You will not need all the grease it produces.
I hope this helps.
Faith Storms says
So yummy, Laura! I made this tonight with coconut milk instead of cow milk and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe :)
Melanie A. says
Thanks for the recipe! I have tried many things to get my gravy to thicken; I will have to try what you suggested and keep the heat on high. One thing I have found in my attempts, is that I cannot get my gravy to thicken unless I use a cast iron skillet. Using anything else, it sticks and burns before it will thicken, no matter how much I stir it. Have you found this to be the case?
I too have a gravy story. I tried numerous times as a young wife to make gravy correctly. It always ended badly. I was in tears I got so frustrated. Once and for all, I made up my mind to get it right. I watched others before, but my sister in law’s method worked best. The key is a whisk to mix the gravy. After adding the milk, whisk, whisk, whisk! Now I can make yummy gravy. It’s definitely a favorite meal around here.
Sarah B. says
I love gravy but it’s a rare treat around here. My husband grew up with chocolate (gasp!) gravy and I make it for him occasionally. I prefer the cream gravy! The first time I tried it I was a teen and thought I knew how to make it after watching my Mom. It would have been great except that I left ALL the grease in the pan. It was way too greasy to eat, even though it looked beautiful!
Linda Hayes says
Love all the gravy stories. I, too, had success AFTER I bought a whisk. Wonderful little gadgets!
I took a shortcut and used Trader Joe’s biscuits but this was a fantastic meal. We had it for dinner tonite. My husband ate his with sunny side up eggs (yuck!). This was better than my mom’s…much healthier ingredients too! Thank you for all you do!
Just made this & it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!
After you cook the sausage, do you drain the grease, or use it to make the gravy? TIA!
Use it to make gravy. :)