Country Gravy (aka white sauce with sausage)

***this post does contain one affiliate link***

A funny story…about a year ago we hosted an Englishman for a week or so.  We offered him biscuits and gravy for breakfast…and the look on his face!  Because in England, they call cookies ‘biscuits’, and ‘gravy’ ONLY refers to pan drippings from cooking meat.  So if you want to offer this to a Brit, offer them a white sauce with sausage over flaky scones (that’s a bit more to say but it will keep them from making that ‘gross’ face). He was a sport about it, though.

Chris and I love cooking together.  Since he does the baking and I do the cooking, biscuits and gravy means we get some time together in the kitchen. As far as timing, I wait until he’s put the biscuits in the oven and then I go to work (because, frankly, he takes up all the counter space rolling out the biscuits).

Just as Chris introduced his pastry cutter, I would like to talk about whisks. When whisking things like batter or scrambling eggs in a bowl, you use a whisk like we usually think…but whenever you are whisking right against the bottom of shallow pan, as when mixing flour into butter or melting chocolate, there is special kind of whisk called a gravy whisk (I like this one: Rosle Stainless Steel Spiral Whisk, 10.6-Inch)*. When a recipe calls for ‘deglazing’ a pan with wine or broth, they are asking you to use this special whisk. Its superpower is that it’s shaped so you can get right against the bottom of the pan and the edges, which keeps things from sticking and burning. So here’s a picture:

Country Gravy has a lot of names: white sauce and Béchamel are the two most common alternatives. Just don’t call it Alfredo sauce – that’s just cream and no flour. Béchamel is French, and historically considered one of their ‘mother’ sauces…or, as I say it, base for adding other yummy stuff. It is very versatile and once you get down the basics you can make all kinds of things with it.

The sauce here is a basic Béchamel with sage and sausage as the flavors meant to stand out. I’ve also added onions to give an earthy, sweet undertone. Actually, you’ll find I do that with a lot of recipes. Garlic gives it a little zing, but unlike a lot of my recipes, don’t use much.

As far as the sausage goes, I use Jones breakfast links** most often. It’s a little more work to cut them up as opposed to buying bulk ground sausage and breaking it up as you cook it, but I like the flavor and texture better.

Enjoy!

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Yields6 Servings

 1 tbsp sunflower (or similar) oil
 1 lb breakfast sausage links, chopped
 1 medium onion, diced
 3 tbsp butter
 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
 2 tsp rubbed sage
 salt and pepper to taste
 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
 1 ½ cups whole milk
 ½ cup half and half

1

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the sausage and onions. Sauté until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are golden. Remove from pan.

2

Make sure the stove is on medium-low now and in the same pan melt the butter and then add the flour in. Using a gravy whisk, stir the flour into the butter and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, maybe a little longer until it is a light, golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and sage and give it a quick stir.

3

In small batches, add the milk and half and half. Stir between each addition until it is smooth. After the first couple of additions, it will ball up around the whisk. That's normal...just gently shake it back into the pan and keep adding milk.

4

Once all the milk and half and half have been added, add the sausage and onions back in and switch to stirring with a wooden or silicone spoon. Allow it to warm through and serve hot over biscuits, mashed potatoes, or cornbread.

Ingredients

 1 tbsp sunflower (or similar) oil
 1 lb breakfast sausage links, chopped
 1 medium onion, diced
 3 tbsp butter
 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
 2 tsp rubbed sage
 salt and pepper to taste
 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
 1 ½ cups whole milk
 ½ cup half and half

Directions

1

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the sausage and onions. Sauté until the sausage is cooked through and the onions are golden. Remove from pan.

2

Make sure the stove is on medium-low now and in the same pan melt the butter and then add the flour in. Using a gravy whisk, stir the flour into the butter and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes, maybe a little longer until it is a light, golden brown. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and sage and give it a quick stir.

3

In small batches, add the milk and half and half. Stir between each addition until it is smooth. After the first couple of additions, it will ball up around the whisk. That's normal...just gently shake it back into the pan and keep adding milk.

4

Once all the milk and half and half have been added, add the sausage and onions back in and switch to stirring with a wooden or silicone spoon. Allow it to warm through and serve hot over biscuits, mashed potatoes, or cornbread.

Country Gravy

*This post contains an affiliate link. But only only because I really like that whisk.

**not an affiliate link. I like them so much I’m just advertising for them anyway.

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