This is one of those recipes I probably never would have made if not for it being an assigment. Why? Because I generally don’t like southern style biscuits. I prefer the flaky buttery style. Despite all the preservatives and endless ingredients, I’ll take Pillsbury biscuits before southern style. This is not to say that I’ll refuse them – just that they’re one of those, “oh, that’s all you’ve got, ok” sort of items for me.
As usual, I checked against the website to note any differences between the recipes. The only differences were that the website offered measurements in tsp/tbsp instead of ounces and increased the oven temperature. As usual, I decided to stick with the book – only using the converted measurements since they’re easier to measure out.
The biscuits were very straightforward to make, presenting no real problems. Mix a handful of ingredients, stir in the buttermilk until it becomes a dough and then fold a few times – finally cutting out the biscuits. This is where I had a small panic moment. We don’t actually have a biscuit cutter and I didn’t want to climb up and dig out the cookie cutters (though christmas tree shaped southern biscuits would have been fun). Usually, we have at least one empty can sitting next to the sink drying out before being thrown into the recycling bin. Of course, there wasn’t one now. I looked around trying to find something about the right size that I could use to cut out the biscuits. The only thing around was the cockatiel’s empty food dish. I re-washed it just in case and set out using it to cut out the biscuits.
They were supposed to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until done. At 20 minutes, they seemed to be done. I felt unsure though, as they weren’t golden brown like I’m so used to my biscuits being. I set them aside to cool while I made the gravy to go along with them.
This chapter was broken into two parts: roux and the gravy. Of course, roux is used to make the gravy, but it’s really important to understand roux and what it does. I’ve tried making roux in the past for various things, but I always feel like something isn’t quite right about it.
First up was browning the sausage. Once cooked, you are to set the sausage aside and empty out all but two tbsp of the sausage grease left over. The only problem was that there weren’t two tbsp left to begin with – maybe because I bought some slightly healthier sausage. I could have used some of the shortening that I had just used for the biscuits, but I decided to go with something that had flavor: bacon grease. Heating up a little of that, and I was back in business and ready to try my hand at roux again.
I felt like this was my most successful roux attempt, but I started second guessing myself as I started whisking in the milk to make the actual gravy. I was stirring constantly, but the roux was starting to coagulate into some small chunks at times. I kept whisking and stirring and most of them seemed to go away over time.
Time for a seasoning check before adding the sausage back in. It was surprisingly bland. Again, maybe from using healthier sausage – but it needed something more. I added more salt, and then added pepper, garlic and cayenne. With those, it had that bit of kick that it needed. As I started to add the sausage back in, I realized that the recipe made way more sausage than was needed in this gravy. I kept about a third of it to throw in some pasta or an omelette later.
The biscuits were decent, but nothing great or exciting. But like I said earlier, I don’t usually like this style of biscuit much to begin with. They’re just too heavy. The gravy was good with the additional spices – but I couldn’t see eating this gravy with anything but biscuits or something like chicken. Both of these recipes are really pure southern – and there’s nothing wrong with that – they’re just not for me.
Southern Biscuits Rating:
Sawmill Gravy Rating: