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Authentic Southern Sausage Gravy Recipe

Updated on April 10, 2013
Do you want to serve up a big bowl of awesome for breakfast?
Do you want to serve up a big bowl of awesome for breakfast? | Source
4.8 stars from 4 ratings of Awesome Sausage Gravy

Southern folks really love their biscuits and many of them put a lot of hard work into making them. This tasty bread is a staple of southern eating and is relatively easy to make. One of our favorite things to eat with biscuits is gravy.

I love gravy and have the waistline to prove it. Truth be told, I'm not really the kind of person to brag a lot, but my gravy is one of the things that I'm probably excessively proud of. My grandmother taught me how to make regular gravy when I was a kid and I will forever thank her for it.

When I was a teenager, my friend Theresia showed me step by step how to make sausage gravy. I've never forgotten her lessons and I have always greatly appreciated them. I may have tweaked this a little over time, but it is still her basic instruction that I am about to share with you.

There are a few notes before you get started:

  • The absolute best breakfast sausage you can use for this recipe is the homemade stuff. If you've got a neighbor who makes it or know someone that does, then you are a very fortunate person. If you don't have access to the good stuff, I recommend Bob Evans or Jimmy Dean premium sausage, and I really like the sage style. The only problem with these is that they don't always give enough fat to make the gravy! Cheaper sausages don't taste as awesome, but usually provide plenty of grease.
  • Sausage made with real maple syrup can get very sticky in this recipe. I love the sausage, but don't recommend it for this gravy.
  • You can use any kind of milk for this gravy, though I prefer whole milk. Because you are using a thickening agent (flour), you can use the thinner skim or 2% milk. I would imagine you can also use soy, but I don't know what effect this will have on the taste of the gravy.
  • You can also use heavy cream, but this will seriously impact your calorie count as well as your pocketbook - that stuff costs about $3 a pint and you need three to four cups for this gravy!
  • Though you can use any kind of pepper, traditionally this gravy wants coarse ground black pepper.
  • It would be to your advantage to save either sausage or bacon fat beforehand in case your sausage doesn't render enough to make your gravy. You can keep this stuff in the freezer until you need it.

Got it? If you're ready to make some awesome sausage gravy, turn off the telephone and the television because this is not a dish you can walk away from while it's cooking. This recipe will feed about six people or yield enough gravy for about eight biscuits.

I've also added photos from different steps of the cooking process to help you along.

If you have these five ingredients, you can make sausage gravy - sausage, flour, milk, salt and pepper.
If you have these five ingredients, you can make sausage gravy - sausage, flour, milk, salt and pepper. | Source

Ingredients

  • 1 pound breakfast sausage
  • about 1/4 cup flour
  • about four cups milk
  • salt to taste
  • coarse ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 biscuits, cooked and hot

Instructions

  1. Crumble sausage into small pieces in a large skillet or frying pan and cook over medium heat until thoroughly cooked.
  2. Remove sausage and drain thoroughly, remove all but approximately three tablespoons of the fat from the pan.
  3. Assemble the following things before returning your skillet to the heat: milk (open the container before continuing), flour, a spatula and a wire whisk. You will not have time to hunt for them after you begin.
  4. Return your pan to the burner and heat until the fat is bubbling.
  5. Slowly add in your flour while continuously stirring the fat/flour with a spatula. What you want is to get a very thick consistency but not so thick that it turns into a paste. Mix thoroughly but don't worry about the lumps at this point.
  6. Add in the milk about 1/4 cup at a time whisking vigorously. Each time you add milk, allow it to thicken before adding more. This can happen very quickly, especially if your heat is too high. Once you begin adding the milk, do not stop whisking. This will prevent sticking and get any lumps out.
  7. One your gravy is at your desired consistency, remove from heat, add the sausage back in and add your salt and pepper.
  8. Serve immediately over hot biscuits.
One pound of sausage cooking - cook it through, don't just brown it!
One pound of sausage cooking - cook it through, don't just brown it! | Source
Remove the meat from the pan before adding the flour. Note: This is twice as much fat as I needed, so I poured half of it off to save for making "dirty" eggs.
Remove the meat from the pan before adding the flour. Note: This is twice as much fat as I needed, so I poured half of it off to save for making "dirty" eggs. | Source
Get this stuff ready before you continue, opened milk and flour containers, a whisk and a spatula.
Get this stuff ready before you continue, opened milk and flour containers, a whisk and a spatula. | Source
Add in your flour in small amounts stirring quickly with a spatula. When you get to this consistency, you are ready to add milk. Don't worry about lumps at this point, you'll get them out in the next step.
Add in your flour in small amounts stirring quickly with a spatula. When you get to this consistency, you are ready to add milk. Don't worry about lumps at this point, you'll get them out in the next step. | Source
Keep adding milk in small amounts (about 1/4 cup) while whisking the crap out of your gravy to alleviate your aggressions and get out those lumps!
Keep adding milk in small amounts (about 1/4 cup) while whisking the crap out of your gravy to alleviate your aggressions and get out those lumps! | Source
The finished gravy with the sausage added back in. See how it coats the spatula? PERFECT! I won't allow anything less from myself when it comes to gravy!
The finished gravy with the sausage added back in. See how it coats the spatula? PERFECT! I won't allow anything less from myself when it comes to gravy! | Source
No more lonely biscuits!
No more lonely biscuits! | Source

Basic Milk Gravy Tutorial - Watch This Before You Beginning Your Gravy!

Basic Gravy Making Rules Apply Here, Big Time

To be perfectly honest, gravy is either something you will do really well or very badly. There isn't any "okay" gravy, it's either perfect or it isn't. Maybe I am a Gravy Nazi (like the soup guy from that show about nothing), but I think a casual attitude towards making gravy means you just shouldn't be making it at all! Here are a few rules to live by when making sausage gravy:

  • NEVER WALK AWAY FROM YOUR GRAVY WHILE IT IS COOKING! EVER!
  • Don't cook your fat/flour so long that it starts to turn brown when making milk gravy - it should be white when finished.
  • No lumps! If your gravy is lumpy keep whisking and they will come out. If you strain it to get the clumps of flour out, you're also throwing away your fat and your remaining gravy will be bland.
  • Gravy should never be oily. If it's very shiny or glossy, you have not used enough flour in making your roux and adding a thickener at this point is useless beause it won't combine with the fat. I personally would never serve greasy gravy.
  • Use cornstarch mixed with water to thicken only if you have added too much liquid to your gravy and as a last resort. For some reason, it ruins the consistency of gravy. This is why you add the milk a little bit at a time so your gravy doesn't end up runny.
  • Never season your gravy until after it is completely cooked.
  • The only seasonings for sausage gravy should be salt and coarse ground black pepper.
  • Also, for sausage gravy (or any other milk based gravy, really), do not add butter, margarine or oil to your rendered fat unless you absolutely have to. If you do not have enough fat left after cooking your sausage, use saved bacon grease if you have it. You can also use saved rendered beef, pork or ham fat, but only if that meat has been cooked with no seasoning. You need to add fat to this gravy because you will be using milk and not broth or stock to complete the dish. If you add butter, margarine or cooking oil, the flavor of your gravy will be diminished.
  • To reheat your gravy, do not microwave it. This won't alter the taste, but you will have an ugly, congealed mess. Drop some dollups of cold gravy into a medium-hot skillet then whisk in milk as needed.

© 2013 Georgianna Lowery

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    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Um, k girl, if you keep making these yummy recipe hubs you're going to force me to read them... it's against my standard operating procedures! Seriously though, what time is dinner?

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Cantuhearmescream:

      LOL! K. No more recipes. I don't like doing them anyway, because it is a major pain in the butt to stop what I'm doing to take a photo.

      Dinner's at 5:30, and I'm having leftover baked spaghetti that I made yesterday. Want me to set a plate for you? ;)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Georgie,

      No no no, now don't get hasty :-)

      You just happen to post recipes that I can't keep myself from... but it's not a bad thing, besides, I might have people sending me vicious hate mail if you stop on account of me.

      Yes please, I better be on my way, NY to NC is a bit of a drive :-)

      Cat

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Cat,

      What's messed up is that I just moved here from NY! You were thisclose!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

      Whereabouts?

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Allegany County, near a little town called Belmont.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Is that anywhere near Jamestown?

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Mapquest says Jamestown is about an hour and a half west of Belmont.

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Hmmm, well my in-laws live about a half hour from Allegany State Park. I figured you might be close to that? I think Allegany is big? They live in Chattauqua County

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      I don't really know how big it is. I do remember how cold it was, though. Dang!

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Georgie,

      Well, I'm certainly envious of your current geographical location :-(

      Thank goodness I will soon be in a season I can enjoy and I shan't be too sad for another 6 months. :-)

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Cat,

      I'm from Virginia and I moved to NY from Texas (in the dead of winter, I might add), so the cold was a real shock. I'm going to really dig being back down this way. :)

    • Cantuhearmescream profile image

      Cat 4 years ago from New York

      Georgie,

      I went to Austin Texas, Lacklan Airforce Base, a few years back for my brother's graduation and I loved, loved, loved it there. I could so do Texas or North Carolina... but alas, I am stuck in New York.

    • innerspin profile image

      innerspin 4 years ago from uk

      Well, this was an eye opener for me. I've never heard of milk gravy, or crumbling sausage. And this is breakfast? Wow. You've also made me curious about "dirty" eggs. Good to read new ideas, thanks!

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      innerspin:

      Ha! Dirty eggs! Well, they're scrambled eggs that have been cooked in a pan right after some kind of meat that has left tasty browned pieces behind. I don't know if there's a catchy, trendy culinary term for them, but it's what I've always called them.

      And yes, breakfast! Only you probably won't want to eat again until supper time. I rarely make this, though. Usually breakfast is a bowl of oatmeal.

      Thank you for stopping by! :)

    • Julie Fletcher profile image

      Julie Fletcher 4 years ago

      Voted up. I can vouch it is indeed awesome.

    • Georgie Lowery profile image
      Author

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      Thank you Julie. :)

    • Julie Fletcher profile image

      Julie Fletcher 4 years ago

      You're welcome. Nice job on the pics.

    • sweetjamieblueyes profile image

      Jamie Sykes 3 years ago from Lewisville, North Carolina

      I know someone who would be a very happy man if you made this. Cause we all know you can cook your booty off and are the best at it! It even makes me want to try some and you know I don't like sausage!

      Maybe if you put it in mac & cheese? ;)

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      I make my milk gravy something like this but I do not remove the sausage I add the flour over the top of sausage, after remove some grease and then add milk. Personally I don't like sausage gravy because I don't like sausage so I make milk gravy for myself without sausage. I love it made with bacon grease or after frying chicken and the drippings from the chicken. My family loves the sausage gravy. Voted up on your hub.

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