A biscuit and gravy breakfast with all the trimmings…bacon, sausage and seasoned potatoes.
Mmmm…..this is the stuff my Saturday morning dreams are made of!
I say Saturday morning, because who has time during the week? And even if I did have time, I sure don’t need to eat this stuff every day!
*Disclaimer: If you are looking for healthy breakfast choices, you are NOT in the right place. Just reading this post may cause an increase in cholesterol. (Wink. So worth it! Everything in moderation, right?)
Our grandmothers had the edge on us because they did cook breakfast like this. Every. Single. Day.
They had the edge, but DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED!
You CAN make breakfast like your grandmother did, with these tips and short-cuts.
While they perfected with much practice, I do good to get this kind of breakfast on the table once or twice a month.
And that’s okay. Just realistic.
The only trouble is, the only way to get good at making gravy is well…to make gravy. A lot.
And so, it has taken me a long, long time to get my gravy to the point that it resembles my Momaw’s.
She called it “thick and gravy”, or maybe “thickened gravy” and it was…I mean some good stuff!
I never make a pan of gravy without thinking of her, up in the kitchen before daylight, so that my granddaddy would have a good breakfast before he headed off to work.
She would usually make enough to send a brown paper sack full of sausage and biscuits for him to share with his car pool and work buddies.
BUT, I am getting ahead of myself. Before I get to the gravy, I start out the process with the bacon. Usually. (This time we are doing potatoes too, so the bacon is Step Two.)
Momaw fried her bacon. I used to make mine in the microwave with between two plates. Either of these methods is fine.
But I have found that the absolute easiest way to do bacon is in the oven.
Since timing is so important in getting a big breakfast on the table, here are some steps that will help it to come together so that everything gets done at the right time.
- STEP ONE: Wash, dry, cube and season potatoes and set aside. (For this meal, we used 4 medium red jacket potatoes. Once cubed, we tossed them in a large zip lock bag with 2 T. oil, 1 tsp. smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Just shake it all together in the bag until potatoes are well coated and set aside.) *My daughter suggested the potatoes, and then came up with these seasonings. They turned out great! I am so proud of her!
- STEP TWO: Arrange bacon on a cookie sheet and stick it in a cold oven on 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your bacon and how your oven cooks.
You don’t need to preheat the oven. Just turn on the heat at the time you put the bacon in. No need to turn the bacon either, although you might want to rotate the pan mid-way through cooking so that all pieces are evenly done.
I usually just check on it often, and if some pieces get done before others, I go ahead and take them up to drain. (Without taking out the pan. Just be careful and don’t get burned!)
Once it’s all done, just transfer it all onto a plate lined with paper towels to drain and set it on the back of the stove to keep it warm.
- STEP THREE: While the bacon is cooking, get your sausage going. We use the pre-formed frozen patties. It’s just so much easier than slicing sausage off the roll. (I always hated that sticky mess!)
Our favorite brand is Swaggerty’s, but Dean’s is good too…just a bit more expensive.
- STEP FOUR: Once the bacon and sausage are going, it’s time to start the biscuits. Both of my grandmothers made out-of-this-world biscuits…I mean the kind that my very well be served at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb…and now my Mama makes them too.
I used to make biscuits their way, and every now and then I still do.
But usually, I cheat.
Pioneer Baking Mix changed my life. I mean it. It’s the best stuff ever. Better than Bisquick. Better than having to cut Crisco into sifted flour. Just better.
And by “better”, I mean easier!
Just Pioneer Baking Mix and buttermilk and that is it!
I don’t even measure. Just pour a little mix and stir in a little buttermilk until it feels right. In case you do like to measure, here’s the recipe from the box.
Pioneer Biscuits: 3 cups baking mix; 1 c. buttermilk. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (Just bump it up another 50 degrees as soon as bacon comes out and it will be close enough. High heat is the key to good biscuits that are golden on the outside and tender on the inside.)
Mix ingredients well. Turn onto floured wax paper. Shape into a ball, kneading 3-4 times. Pat or roll out dough to 1/2″ thickness. Cut with a 2″ biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass. Place side to side on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly oiled. Spray the the tops of the biscuits with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil or melted butter. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until they are as brown as you like them. (Makes 18 biscuits.)
Mine in the picture above made 13 and a “baby biscuit”, but again, I didn’t measure.
- STEP FIVE: Bacon and sausage should be done, so take bacon out of the oven, and sausage up out of the skillet and drain it all on a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess grease. Set it on the back of the stove to keep it warm until time to eat. (Leave the grease in the sausage skillet for the gravy, but turn the heat way down or off.)
- STEP SIX: Pop potatoes into oven along with biscuits. (We use parchment paper to cover the cookie sheet because these potatoes stick really bad otherwise.) They should take roughly the same amount of time to cook, although potatoes may take a little longer.
- STEP SEVEN: Now, for the gravy. (Grease; 1/2 c. flour; 3 c. milk, 2% or whole)I don’t know any short-cuts for this step, but I do know that the sifter is your friend! I had never sifted the flour for my gravy until the last year or so, but after making some for my mother-in-law, I received the unsolicited (but in the long run appreciated) advice that I might want to sift my flour so my gravy wouldn’t have lumps. (LOL!)
Add a tablespoon of bacon grease to the sausage grease already in the pan. Turn up the heat until the grease is beginning to bubble. Sift in 1/2 c. flour. (Plain or self-rising is fine, as long as you sift it!) Add salt and pepper to taste, and whisk until grease and flour are well incorporated. Mixture will be lumpy. That’s okay, because you are about to get those lumps out!
Add one cup of milk and whisk vigorously to get lumps out as mixture comes to a boil. Add two more cups of milk to smooth mixture and continue whisking until gravy thickens. (Be patient. This may take awhile.)
I don’t really measure anything for the gravy either, so feel free to play around with this formula until you get it like you you like it!
- STEP EIGHT: By the time the gravy is done, the biscuits and potatoes should be too. Or at least getting close.
Once all this is done, it’s time to eat up!
Warning: You may experience some sluggishness or need for a nap following this meal. But it will be worth it!
In our fast-paced world, cooking from scratch is becoming more and more rare. Although this breakfast preparation included some short-cuts, I promise you, no one will ever know the difference!
And the effort you put into this meal will totally be worth it when you see how happy it makes your family!
Biscuit and gravy- making passed down from generation to generation is in danger of becoming a lost art.
One of my proudest accomplishments as a mom is the fact that my daughter can turn out a biscuit and gravy breakfast that is at least as good as my own. Maybe better!
So, don’t be afraid to try a big old fashioned breakfast! It takes a little practice, but if I can do it, so can you!
Let’s keep this good-eating tradition alive!
If you have some tips you would like to share on making biscuits, gravy, or any great breakfast foods, I would love to hear from you! Please share your tips in the comments.