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Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

1 lb good quality bulk sausage (Bob Evans' if possible)
1/4 c finely minced onion (optional)
6 T flour
1 qt milk
salt
pepper
Tabasco (optional)

If using onion, saute in a small amount of vegetable oil or bacon
fat in a deep skillet until translucent. (I don't always add the
onion when I'm feeling lazy. It's still very good without it.)
Add sausage and brown, breaking up into small bits. When browned,
sprinkle flour over and stir until flour is browned. (If necessary,
add extra fat or oil - approx. 2-4 T. - before adding flour. There
should be approximately 4-5 T. fat.) This will be a fairly dry
roux so be careful not to let it scorch. When flour has colored
slightly add cold milk. (I always add cold milk rather that hot
as many recipes, including this one, originally - recommend.

I have found that when hot milk is added the flour begins to thicken
the gravy much sooner and it will tend to lump if you are not quick
to stir it. With cold milk the flour has time to dissolve into
the milk and be evenly distributed before it starts to thicken and
you have time to get it well mixed. I never get lumps this way.)
Continue cooking gravy over med-high heat until it starts to thicken.
Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until
gravy is very thick. Serve over biscuits. I find this recipe
makes enough to go with 6 biscuits. So I guess that's 3-6 servings.



Biscuits

4 c White Lily self-rising flour (a soft white flour)
1/2 c lard
1 3/4 - 2 c buttermilk
bacon grease

Cut lard into flour. Stir in buttermilk, being careful not to
overmix. The dough should be fairly wet and sticky. Sprinkle
extra flour over the dough in the bowl to keep dough from sticking
to your hands. Form rough lumpy biscuits with your hands. Grab
a lump of dough - about the size of a lemon? - and quickly pat it
into a rough biscuit about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2-3/4
inches thick by bouncing it back and forth lightly between your
hands. Do not handle dough any longer than absolutely necessary.
Repeat, sprinkling more flour over dough as necessary. You will
get 12 largish biscuits from this recipe if you do it right. Place
biscuits side by side on baking sheet - they should be touching.
They should fill up a jelly roll pan. Bake at 450F for 15 - 20
min. or until golden brown.


If you want a real death-defying breakfast do what I often do.
Split a biscuit in half and toast. Spread with butter. Put the
halves side by side on plate and top with a fried egg (sunnyside
up or over easy). Top the whole thing with sausage gravy. Eat
hearty!

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