Monday, December 20, 2010

biscuits and gravy

If you are among the 2% of my readership that has viewed nearly every post, you will know that it has been over a year since I did biscuits and gravy.  The weather is very nice today, or it appears to be through the mini blinds that are all around me.  Mini blinds are all over this planet, but do we take stock of them?  Do we grant them the rightful presence that is their due?  I am not sure what the answers to those questions are, but I suspect that if, where every mini blind hangs there hung instead a splattered plate of hot biscuits and gravy, we would notice them.  This post should really be called "gravy," because it's the gravy that I'm most interested in.  

The night before I made this, I was saying that there is nothing in the world that I want, that I cannot envision a future for myself, and that I would be happier if I were dead.  Because nothingness is so difficult to understand, who is to say that nothingness isn't blissful?  Whatever.  I woke up in the morning feeling very good, celebratory even, and so, to match my mood, I made biscuits and gravy.  Notice the citrus on the plate.  It's crucial.

I am not showing the biscuits because I have not yet found a biscuit recipe that produces biscuits that satisfy me.  These biscuits are good, but they are not good enough.  The gravy is also somewhat different than the gravy that might pop into your mind upon hearing the words biscuits and gravy.  It is not the thick opaque substance that passes for gravy in establishments such as the Whatley diner.  That gravy happens when milk is added to a powdery substance.  This gravy happens when you start from scratch.  To make this gravy I did this:

Since I couldn't find a tube of premade breakfast sauasage at the co-op, I had to start from scratch: ground pork.  The ground pork I found was fatty, but not fatty enough.  So, to remedy that, I purchased a slab of uncut bacon, diced some of it, and added that to the ground pork along with two dried chilies and some dried sage leaves that I'd ground up with my mortar and pestle.  But you don't have to do all of this.  You can just buy breakfast sausage that's already seasoned.  

 The thing you want to look for in your sausage is fat.  Fat is the thing.  When you cook the sausage (on medium heat), you want a good amount of fat because you will use that fat to make the gravy.  When your sausage is fully cooked, pull it out of the pan and put it aside in a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan.  Then, in that fat you want to cook some flour.  If there are two tablespoons of fat, you'll add two tablespoons of flour: it's a one-to-one ratio of flour to fat.  Cook the flour until you notice a change in the color and the smell.  You don't want to taste raw flour in your gravy.  Once you've accomplished this, you can then start whisking in some room temperature milk.  You can use whole milk or skim milk; either one will do.  Continue adding milk until the gravy reaches the desired consistency.  Then return the sausage to the gravy, and there you have it.  Taste it and see if it needs salt.  Then smother a biscuit with it.  

You will want an orange or some other citrus fruit to finish off this meal.  Trust me. 


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