Line Your Belly With Hearty Biscuits And Gravy Before You Get Drunk Watching The State Of The Union
More than a few of you may be chemically impaired, planning on being impaired later for SOTU drinking games, or frozen. To sop up those bad influences, and because some bunglecunt broke the weather, we are going to explore the political and medicinal properties of Grandma’s baking powder biscuits and sausage gravy.
Biscuits are a lot like a speech a president gives to Congress. Both are comfort foods, for mind and body, to those who want it. It’s something to share, even with rivals, that they have to chew on. Hard to swallow even!
A hot biscuit is as American as my late Southern granny, who was known to provoke physical altercations with anyone who suggested FDR was not the best president ever. She would fight Grandpa the Republican, especially, and most of the time she won. In her spare time between domestic disputes, feeding and clothing a small army of children, and working on the farm, my grandmother gave biscuits to the prisoners on chain gangs passing through, or to anyone who said they were hungry. Biscuits give you the strength to get things done. You are wrong if you think you can find that kind of fortitude in a dough-filled tube at the store.
Grandma’s biscuit recipe is the same recipe everyone else uses (271,000 Google hits and counting). As a rule, you are allowed to call them your Grandma’s Biscuits when you make them. The whole process, start to finish, takes about twenty-five minutes. I think my grandma would like you to have this recipe. She liked people with an opinion – either to agree with her, or to put the boot in.
Biscuits have six ingredients: half a cup of shortening (no, not butter), two cups of all-purpose flour, three teaspoons of baking powder, one teaspoon of sugar, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt, and three-fourths cup of milk (plus a splash more if needed). If you use buttermilk instead of regular milk, you are not wrong. I reckon that’s a good idea, good lookin’.
Preheat your oven to 450°. In a big bowl, chop the dry ingredients together with a pastry cutter for about five minutes, until it looks like breadcrumbs. If you don’t have a pastry cutter because you are a minor child, use two dull knives – one in each hand.
Stir in the cold milk and form a sticky ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. On a floured surface, knead this ten times – push, fold, quarter turn and repeat. Roll this out to about half an inch thick and punch out circles with a juice glass. Keep repeating the rolling and punching until you have twelve circles. Put these on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. If you pull up a chair and turn the oven light on, you can watch your accomplishment rise and turn golden brown. I’d like to see your little smart phone try and smell like this.
If you do not eat meat, you are free to butter your biscuit and go win the world.
If you eat meat, and if you took your Lipitor, you can have sausage gravy. This is something you should have before plowing the back forty, or because you’re so hung over that you’re still hanging out. You are allowed to purchase something in a tube for this next adventure.
1 tube of pork sausage, browned, some grease reserved
3 tbsp. unsweetened butter
1/3 c. of flour, or more, to make a roux
1 heaping tbsp. of prepared roux, optional (Kary’s is a good brand)
3 c. of milk (or more if the gravy is too thick)
¼ – ¾ tsp. Gravy Master (to your taste)
Salt and pepper
Brown your sausage on medium heat, and break it apart with a spatula. Set it aside, and add the flour and butter to the pan (with the additional roux for flavor, if you have any). Mix this up, quickly, to form a roux. This will thicken your gravy. The texture you want is more solid than applesauce, without any crumbles, and it’s ready when you can’t taste raw flour anymore. Add milk, salt and pepper and Gravy Master; jack the heat up to medium-high. Keep whisking and stirring, constantly, from the bottom of the pan. The gravy will thicken as it comes to a boil. When you find the desired consistency, you are ready to pour in the still-warm sausage. Add more salt and pepper (definitely more pepper), and it’s time to eat.
Go on and ladle some of that sausage gravy over a couple of busted-up biscuits. That is so good. I can even see the color coming back to your face from here. This food is giving back what that demon liquor took away. I feel much warmer, for sure.
Do you have a deep cast iron pan to cook this in? You should use it. A non-stick pan is OK, if you don’t mind raking up some Teflon chips with your new whisk. If you want a better flavor, level surface heat and non-stick properties, get the iron pan out. This is how I was taught to make sausage gravy, by my mother. She made biscuits and gravy for my father every morning for fifty-nine years. Now, Dad isn’t with us anymore (because he smoked), but his cholesterol was fine. It’s inexplicable. I’m not saying the iron pan helped him out, or am I? Know this – cast iron is prescription-free and LAWS YASS! Enjoy.