Biscuits and gravy made the way grandmas in aprons did it years ago–in cast iron and all by hand. Learn the secrets to tender buttermilk biscuits and rich, flavorful sausage gravy you’ll want to devour in mouthfuls.Jump to Recipe
Call me partial, but I think the best biscuits and gravy–complete with sausage crumbled in and cooked to perfection–comes from the south. And if you want it really good, find an old grandmother who’s been at it for a few decades to make them for you.
You’ll never go wrong.
But if you don’t have a soft-around-the edges apron wearing grandma to help you out, you can do it yourself with me. I’ve been making this biscuits and gravy recipe for most of my life (don’t you dare ask me how long that is) and I know you can handle it too.
How to make the best biscuits and gravy from scratch
- First, know that making biscuits can feel daunting and your results will vary from day to day. Be patient with yourself. Mine are NEVER the same twice. Sometimes they’re tall, sometimes they’re a bit shorter (it all has to do with the moisture) but they always taste good.
- Use buttermilk. Please don’t ask me if you can use regular milk. I know a lot of people do, but the biscuits just aren’t as good.
- Use butter in your biscuits. I used to do only Crisco (vegetable shortening) like my mom, but dropped that in favor of the flavor of all butter ones. It’s your choice though. I don’t do lard at all though it’s the gold standard for some–I’d like to keep my heart pumping. If you’d like to see my original biscuit recipe, you can get that here.
How to make biscuits step by step
How to make gravy step by step
- When making gravy, I LOVE a smoked breakfast sausage. That’s not SMOKED SAUSAGE. That’s a whole different thing. You’re looking for regular breakfast sausage, raw, in a tube, ground up, but has been smoked. Like this one. If you can’t get that, any good pork sausage will work fine.
- Remember to cook that flour a minute or two once it’s been added to the sausage.
- Add the milk and bring to a simmer. It’s going to look super watery at first. That’s normal! (See image 2 below) Stir constantly but gently over medium heat. It may not look like your gravy is getting thick, but it will. And remember that your gravy will thicken as it cools (unless you like to eat yours boiling) so if you’re concerned that it’s too thin, things always work out in the end.
- Your gravy should just coat the back of a spoon and not run back together.
Favorite Biscuits and Gravy
For the Biscuits
Make the Biscuits
- Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly grease a baking tray with shortening or baking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir to combine.
- Using a box grater, grate the cold butter into the flour and toss it gently with your hands to separate the pieces.
- Add the milk and use a fork to stir until no pockets of flour remain. Your batter should be fairly soft. Lightly flour your work surface then scrape your dough out.
- Gently fold the dough over onto itself two to three times, then flatten into a 1-inch thick circle.
- Using a 2 or 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut circles and place them on your baking tray. You can place them touching for softer edges, or an inch apart for crispier edges.
- Bake for 20 minutes until the edges and bottoms are just golden brown, checking them at 17 minutes, just in case.
Make the Gravy
- While the biscuits cook, make the gravy: heat a 9-inch cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add your sausage, reduce heat to medium and crumbling until it’s in small pieces and no pink remains–about 6 minutes.
- You need about 2 tablespoons of sausage drippings in your pan. If you have more than that, drain out any extra. If you don’t see much grease, that’s okay–there’s still some in there. Just go with it.
- Add the flour and stir to combine with the sausage and the flour cooks slightly–1 minute.
- Reduce heat to medium, pour in the milk and stir to combine. Add the salt and pepper (add half the salt first, taste it and then add the rest if needed) Stir gently but constantly, making sure to scrape the bottom as you stir, raising the heat slightly if needed.
- The gravy will come to a slow simmer with bubbles around the edges. Cook until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon about 7 or 8 minutes or to your desired consistency. (remember the gravy will thicken further as it cools)
- Serve over warm biscuits.