Monday, January 13, 2014

Biscuits and Gravy

As today is a special occasion - the senior Patriarch's birthday, (that would be Grandad), we are making biscuits and gravy for lunch - well, it is usually a breakfast meal but we like to eat breakfast for lunch or dinner sometimes. This is one of our favorite breakfast-type meals!  This is the sort of meal that starts way before the day - because it contains REAL foods, in this case wonderfully healthy fat known as lard, rendered from a pastured hog, raised organically.  Not to mention the cracklin's which are the yummy bits of roasted, browned pork left over from making lard.  It also starts with home seasoned breakfast sausage, made with ground pork and fresh herbs from the garden.

First make the sausage:

Homestead Breakfast Sausage w/ Fresh Herbs:

  • 1 lb. ground pork (from our home-raised organically fed hog)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Combine ground pork with all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Yum!  Can you smell those herbs?

Now, let that rest while you start the biscuits...

Cracklin' Biscuits:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup chopped hog cracklin's
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt.  Mix well to ensure proper blending.  Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture.  Once butter has been well blended into flour, add buttermilk and chopped cracklin's.

Continue to mix until biscuit dough is well formed.  Place dough on a floured board and kneed lightly, 5 or 6 times.  This is what makes them flake apart:)  Roll out dough until approximately 3/4-inch thick.

Cut biscuits with a 3in. biscuit cutter (or a regular big kitchen knife) until all are formed.  I have found they don't have to be shaped nicely to eat good.

Place biscuits in a greased 12-in. cast iron skillet (or a cookie sheet) and drizzle with remaining melted butter.  Bake until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes.

Now as soon as the biscuits go in the oven, brown the sausage and begin the gravy.

Southern Sausage Gravy:

Time to make the gravy!

  • 8 oz. breakfast sausage
  • 2 tbsp pork lard (bacon grease will work too)
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash cayenne pepper (optional)

Cook sausage in a medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring and breaking up with a spatula.  

With a slotted spoon, remove the browned crumbled sausage to a paper-lined plate.  Add 2 tablespoons lard, bacon grease or olive oil to the drippings in the skillet.  Add flour, stirring until blended and bubbling.

Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of milk; continue stirring until thickened and bubbly.  Add the crumbled sausage.  If too thick, add a little more milk.  Taste and add salt and pepper.  Stir in a dash of cayenne pepper, if desired.

Serve over hot split biscuits - Yummo!

This time we also fried up some sausage links from a local organic farm

Lifeline Farm is a local farm here in Montana that is one of our favorite sources for sustainably raised organic pork (they make really good cheese too!).

I would have had a fabulous photo of the finished product, but I was too hungry to stop for that - maybe next time:)

I hope you enjoy this wonderful meal!

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