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Sausage Gravy

To prepare, cook the pan sausage in a relatively deep skillet.
Try to keep some recognizable pieces of sausage if you can. Remove
the sausage from the pan, leaving the fat behind.

Make a roux with the fat from the sausage and flour. A roux is a
thickener made of roughly equal parts fat and flour. Each teaspoon
of flour will thicken about half a cup of liquid, so for four cups
of gravy use about 8 tsp of fat, 8 tsp of flour and 4 cups of milk.

The roux for this gravy should be cooked only enough to eliminate
any raw flour taste. The guide I use is to cook the flour until
it just barely begins to take on color. Cooking it more will not
hurt the gravy, but will result in a darker color and a slightly
different flavor.

The consistiency of the roux can vary according to personal
preference, but I recommend that you use as much flour as you can
and still have the roux "flow". More flour and and the roux will
clump in the bottom of the pan and not cook evenly. Less flour
leaves the gravy greasey. Add flour a little at a time until you
get to the right point. If you do add too much flour there are
two corrections. If there is just a little too much flour, let
things cook. As it cooks, the roux loses some cohesiveness. The
other option is to add more fat. Make sure there is no water at
all in the fat or you can hurt your self when the water explosively

When you add the milk, mix it in with a whisk to incorperate the
roux. There is some depate as to what the roux and liquid temperatures
should be, but I have found that adding cold (ie just from the
fridge) milk to hot roux works fine if you add all the milk at
once, as quickly as possible. Heat the gravy until it thickens,
return the sausage, and season with salt and lots of black pepper.

Serve over biscuits (or if you are desperate, toast).


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