The team from the Ruby Slipper Cafe makes one of their seasonal specials for fall! This was created in memory of sausage gravy and biscuits that Erich Weishaupt, the Ruby Slipper owner, ate as a child in Birmingham.
- Sausage Gravy (yields ½ gallon for approximately 15 servings; gravy can be refrigerated)
- Vegetable oil, ½ cup
- All-purpose flour, ½ cup + 1/8 cup (5/8 cups total)
- Milk, ½ gallon warmed
- Water, 3 ½ cups
- Butter (unsalted), 1 tablespoon
- Tasso (finely diced), ½ cup
- Pork links, 7 sliced in half and then cut in ¼ inch pieces
- Onion (diced), ½ cup
- Garlic (minced), 1 tablespoon
- Fresh thyme leaves, ¼ cup
- Coarse black pepper, ¾ tablespoon
- Kosher salt, ¾ tablespoon
- Garlic powder, 1 teaspoon
- Hot sauce, ¼ teaspoon
- Pork link sausage (cooked, preferably grilled)–2 pieces each serving, cut in half lengthwise
- Biscuit— 1 each serving, halved
- Eggs, poached—2 each serving
- Fresh thyme for garnish—1 teaspoon per serving
- Fresh chives for garnish—1 teaspoon per serving
Making Sausage Gravy:
- In heavy pan, heat oil until it begins to swirl. Whisk in flour and cook for 5 minutes until roux is a creamy color. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In another heavy pan, melt butter over medium heat.
- Add in minced tasso and cook for 3 minutes until it begins to carmelize.
- Add in pork sausage and cook until lightly browned.
- Add onions and cook until translucent.
- Add garlic; cook for 3 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of water.
- Pour all meat and vegetables and deglazed juices into a pan and set aside.
- In heavy pan, heat ½ gallon of milk and 2 ½ cups of water together and bring to a simmer. Whisk in roux. Continue to whish and simmer until well combined. Add in salt, black pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce. Cook at a simmer until creamy consistency (about 15-20 mins.)
- Add in the sausage, vegetables and deglaze juices and stir until well combined. Add in thyme leave. Simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- If the sauce becomes too thick, you may thin it by whisking in 1/8 cup of warm milk at a time.
- The sauce should not be gloopy but should coat the back of a spoon evenly. (Take a spoon, dip it in sauce, take it out of sauce, turn spoon over with back of spoon facing you, run your finger down the spoon. If you end up with a clean line down the middle, the sauce is perfect.)
- If making gravy ahead of time, store in non-metal container.
- To reheat gravy, pour cold sausage gravy into a non-reactive pot and reheat over low- medium heat until reaches 185 F. for at least 45 seconds. Stir the gravy continuously to prevent the sausage from sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot.
Steps for Sausage Gravy Benedict:
- Prepare sausage gravy (directions above).
- Cut pork links in half, lengthwise. Place on flat top and cook on both sides until golden brown.
- Place two eggs in lightly simmering poaching water and cook for 3 minutes.
- Cut biscuit in half, horizontally. Place biscuit halves in the center of the plate.
- Place one pork link, halved on top of each biscuit half (two pork links total)
- Place one egg on top of each pork link.
- Ladle 2 oz. of Sausage Gravy over each biscuit.
- Garnish with thyme and chives.