I'll be the first to admit this isn't much of a looker but if you can get past the monotone beige it's a damn fine start to the day.
Back as a teenager I was very much like I am now, always ordering the strangest looking thing on the menu. Unlike now though, where chances are very slim that it's not going down the gullet, this frequently ended up with me leaving my dinner. My dad was pretty wise to this though so when I tried to order biscuits with gravy in an Orlando Denny's (c.1988) it was met with a swift no. I was annoyed that I didn't get my own way but soon perked up when a plate of pancakes, bacon, sausage, hash brown and eggs - sunny side up - were placed before me.
The desire for this intriguingly named (to an English ear anyway) dish never left me though and now I'm a big fan but with a distinct lack of restaurants around here serving it (does anyone in London do it?) I have to make it at home. The savoury gravy - a white sauce really - studded with chunks of sausage meat and served over hot biscuits - scones really - is proper comfort food of a morning, needing not a lot of chewing and setting you up nicely for the day ahead.
Thanks to the acid of the buttermilk the biscuits rise really well, making a light and flaky base for the gravy. They take minutes to knock up - you want to work the dough as little as possible to keep them light - and the 12 minutes in the oven is more than enough time to make the sausage gravy and some eggs - well it wouldn't be a cooked breakfast without eggs would it.
Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Sausage Gravy, serves 2
4 sausages, something plain
1 TB oil
2 TB flour
S&P and Tabasco
Buttermilk Biscuits, makes 4, 2 each
150gr plain flour
1 ts baking powder
1/2 ts bicarbonate soda
1/2 ts sugar
Pinch of salt
First off get the oven heating to 220. This is going to take longer than the prep.
Once the oven is hot get going on the biscuits. Quickly rub the butter into the dry ingredients then add the buttermilk and briefly work into a dough. The less you work it the nicer they will be. Give the dough a 10-15 knead then place on a floured surface and pat out to a circle about 1.5cm thick. Cut into quarters and place 1cm apart on a greased baking tray. Cook for 10-12 minutes till well risen and golden.
Whilst they are cooking heat the oil in a frying pan then skin the sausages and add their meat. Fry, breaking them down with a back of a spoon as you go, you're aiming for pieces no bigger than a centimetre or so. Once lightly coloured add the flour and stir well, cook for a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Add the milk and bring to the boil, scraping the pan as you go till all the stuck on bits are in the sauce. Turn the heat down and simmer till the biscuits are ready.
Before serving season the gravy with salt, pepper and Tabasco.