Ever since I decided I wanted to cook things, I've been fairly successful in most of my endeavors. Generally with a little internet research and Alton Brown know-how, I can get most dishes approximated. All except for. . . biscuits and gravy.
Why would I ever want to make them? Well, that Moos of mine loves them. And ever since he told me that it's been fail after fail. To the point that he told me to just give up. Well, I was having none of that. I figured since my past attempts had all involved pre-packaged ingredients to one degree or another, I should give it one last shot making everything from scratch. Time to consult the master.
Alton Brown's Southern Biscuits
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
1 cup buttermilk, chilled
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a 1-inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Place biscuits on baking sheet so that they just touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting. (Biscuits from the second pass will not be quite as light as those from the first, but hey, that's life.)
Bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15 to 20 minutes.
biscuit cutter. Who does? But you know what I do have. . . an onigiri mold.
batter consistency, the biscuits turned out pretty great. Light and fluffy inside, crunchy on the outside, and pretty tasty with some butter and honey. But that wasn't what was going on here. I had some sizzlin' to do.
Southern magic, I think. It turned out to be the perfect gravy fodder.
Alton Brown's Sawmill Gravy
1 pound bulk breakfast sausage
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste. Cook sausage in a cast iron skillet. When done, remove sausage from pan and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Whisk flour into the fat and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk a little at a time. Return to medium-high heat and stir occasionally while the gravy comes to a simmer and thickens. (Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that might be stuck to the bottom of the pan, that's where the flavor is.) Check seasoning, add crumbled sausage and serve.
breakfast sausage, packaged biscuits, or other unsuitable things. Making everything myself in the syle of AB turned out to be the perfect solution for perfect biscuits n gravy. Awesome.
This is the segment where I will see how whatever foodstuff I've prepared (or purchased) compliments my new signature drink - Babycham!
So the biscuits and gravy? Well, it doesn't do much to enhance the perry pear flavor of the Babycham, but the saltiness and porkiness of the gravy certainly does its part to kill the slightly sulfuric aftertaste. I'll put it in the "works okay" column.