Sunday, June 8, 2014

52WoC Week 20: Diner Food - Sausage Gravy

Sausage gravy is the duct tape of the breakfast world - it will fix anything. No matter how shitty your eggs, biscuits, toast, or fruit salad may be, cover that shit up with sausage gravy and you'll be eating well. That being said, most diners don't take the actual effort to make sausage gravy from scratch and it's a real shame. I mean, I'm guilty of eating the canned stuff at a Holiday Inn Express on more than one occasion but the sausage gravy never lives up to its fullest potential. Starting with high quality ingredients and taking the care to make this properly takes this breakfast topper from straight heart burn to worth the 20 antacids.

There is one key step to making quality sausage gravy: use herbs to enhance the flavors already in the sausage. Using fennel or rosemary help play off the seasonings in the sausage. It's the difference between LeBron playing with good D. Wade instead of glass bones D. Wade1. This recipe is perfect for biscuits, SOS, and pretty much anything you want to slather in sausage gravy (everything). The only thing sausage gravy isn't perfect for is taking photos. I spent the better part of an hour trying to take one appealing photo of sausage gravy and don't think I succeeded. Please take my word that this tastes a billion times better than it looks.

Sausage Gravy

Qty Ingredient Procedure
1 tsp fennel
  1. Dry roast the fennel until fragrant - about a minute over medium heat. Take off the heat.
1 tsp red pepper flakes
  1. In a bowl, combine the fennel with all the other spices.
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 lb ground pork2
  1. Brown the pork over medium high heat. Add the spices and the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Take the crumbles off the heat keeping as much of the grease in the pan as possible.
2 cloves garlic
2-3 tbps flour
  1. Add the flour to the grease and cook until you have a nice roux. You need equal parts flour and fat so eyeball the amount of flour. If there isn't enough grease, add a touch of butter.
3/4 cup milk
  1. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly. Let simmer until desired consistency. Add your crumbles and season with salt and lots of black pepper.

Regardless if you start with ground pork or sausage, I recommend making the spice mixture outlined in the recipe as it brightens up the flavor of the sausage. Start by toasting the fennel in a dry pan. Take a pan over medium heat with nothing in it and add the fennel seeds. Roast for about a minute until they start to get really fragrant and turn slightly brown on the edges. Remove from the heat. Combine with the sage, thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Set aside. Brown your ground pork over medium high heat and add the spice mixture2 and the crushed garlic. Cook until it is crispy and brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the crumbles trying to keep as much of the grease in the pan as possible.

This step might take a little bit of practice on the eyeballing aspect. You want to add about equal parts flour to the fat that remains in the pan. If there isn't enough grease in the pan, simply add some butter. Cook the flour until it is no longer raw but before it turns brown. Once your roux is developed, slowly start adding your milk while stirring constantly. Once all the milk has been added, let simmer until it is the desired thickness. Add your sausage crumbles and season with salt and lots of black pepper.

  1. Seriously fuck the Heat. The east is so much easier and their playoff ride was a joke. Spurs better take this.  
  2. If you are using sausage instead of ground pork, only use half of the spice mixture and it should liven up your sausage gravy.  


  1. Sausage gravy on fruit salad? Dude...

    1. Have you even tried it? It's like maple syrup and bacon.