A childhood favorite of biscuits and gravy can be made while still half asleep with this foolproof recipe. Also, during morel season, the humble dish can be elevated to the sublime by using morel mushrooms instead of sausage.
Sour Cream Biscuits and Sausage Gravy (with Morel Gravy option)
2 cups all purpose flour, plus 1/4 cup more for biscuit assembly
1 Tbl. + 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 Tbl. + 1 tsp. Vegetable oil (I like grapeseed oil), plus more
for the baking sheet
3 – 4 Tbl. Very soft butter
1 pound of good breakfast sausage (removed from the casings)
3 Tbl. all purpose flour
2 cups whole or low fat milk
Morel gravy option:
2 cups (or more!) of cleaned, trimmed morels, halved or quartered if large
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
1 – 2 minced shallots (approx. 1/3 cup)
1 pint heavy cream
Salt and white pepper
1 scrape of fresh nutmeg
1/8 tsp. Aleppo pepper or strong paprika
Minced chives, if desired
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. I use a 10” x 12” nonstick baking tray.
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the 2 cups of flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Using a spoon, dollop the sour cream evenly over the top of the flour, pour over the oil, and mix until a soft dough is formed. Then mix with your hands until all of the dry bits from the bottom of the bowl are incorporated.
Knead gently on a floured surface 5-8 times, then reflour your board and hands and pat the dough into a round about 1 1/4” thick.
Dip a round biscuit cutter (or a glass with straight sides that is 2” in diameter) into flour and cut out the biscuits, and arrange 2” apart on the oiled baking sheet. Reform the dough and cut out about 2 more biscuits. I usually get 8 to 10 biscuits, plus a bonus bigger biscuit for the cook.
Using a small silicone brush or your fingertips, gently spread a bit of the very soft butter on top of each biscuit, being careful not to squish them.
Bake until the biscuits are golden brown on top and bottom, about 12 – 15 minutes, watching them after 12 minutes. Remove them from the oven and brush again with the butter for a little sheen, then pile into a cloth-lined basket.
While the biscuits are baking, make the gravy.
In a large skillet over medium heat, squeeze the sausage out of its casings and break up with a wooden spatula, and saute until browned. Drain off most of the fat, leaving behind about 1 – 2 Tablespoons. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage crumbles and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour in the milk and whisk until smooth, return to the heat and bring to a boil. Add pepper and salt to taste, if needed, and a dash or two of Tabasco if your sausages were mild.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the minced shallot until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the morels and cook until they are hot to the touch, add dashes of salt and pepper. Pour in the cream and reduce by half at a
high simmer and taste again for salt and pepper. Add the nutmeg and the Aleppo or paprika. Add chives if desired.
When the gravy is thick, spoon over halved hot biscuits and serve. I prefer to eat these with a spoon, and wash it down with a glass of dry Prosecco or strong coffee.
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main dish with leftover biscuits to slather with jam.