Gravy can mean a lot of things. For many, it’s the rich brown sauce served alongside poultry. For certain Italian-Americans, its the word for the tomato sauce that takes half a day to simmer. Well this refers to the “gravy” part of the classic Southern breakfast dish Biscuits and Gravy. Unlike the gravy you’d see on a Thanksgiving table, this sauce is lighter in color and much thicker. Sausage fat takes the place of turkey drippings, and the sauce is intended to be super-thick, so there’s no need to add stock.
After pork sausage (buy it loose at the butcher counter or squeeze the meat from casings) is cooked in a pan, you’ll use the rendered fat to brown flour. You might be more used to making a roux with flour and butter, but this is essentially the same thing. Mix in milk to loosen the gravy and a pinch of cayenne to offset the richness.
Pour the gravy over freshly baked biscuits, or bake off some dough from a can (we won’t tell!)
In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until no pink remains, 8 to 10 minutes.
Sprinkle with flour and cook 1 minute. Add milk and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cayenne.
Remove from heat and serve with biscuits.