Saturday, July 5, 2008

Jul 05: Bacon Gravy

When I was growing up, I ate a typical breakfast - bacon, eggs, toast or a biscuit, but I didn't discover the joys of sausage gravy until college. A few years after that, when I met Shawn, she introduced me to bacon gravy. The whole concept of gravy for breakfast was a delicious new adventure for me.

My quest for a good sausage gravy recipe continues. I believe good sausage gravy is dependent upon the sausage being used.

Bacon gravy on the other hand is very straight forward and consistent. Bacon pretty much taste the same from name brand to name brand - smoke, salt and a little sugar. However, supermarket house brands can be iffy since it seems the house brands (I've tried) are more akin to salt pork where the bacon is mainly salty and the smoke flavor is very faint to non-existent.

Bacon Gravy
3 T Bacon Grease (I know grease has a negative connotation, but used in conjunction with bacon the results are yummy!)
3 T Flour
2 C Milk (I used 2%)
Salt and pepper to taste

After you're finished cooking the bacon reserve some bacon grease.
Add the flour and blend in and cook over medium heat for a minute or two.

Usually I don't measure the flour, I add enough flour to form a slurry that's about the thickness of hot peanut butter on toast. I'm not trying to make a flour ball. In fact, sometimes I just add enough flour to absorb a majority of the bacon grease but mixture remains frothy as it cooks. Note the little bits of bacon fond adding to the flavor.

Slowly add 1/4 of the milk and blend together. As you continue to add the milk the "dough ball" will be transformed into gravy. Initially I used a wooden spoon to mix, but I found that a fork (or a whisk) works better at blending the milk and roux mixture.

As you continue adding the milk, the paste will transform into a gravy. Eventually, you can add all of the remaining milk. If you're serving immediately, I cook until a scrape across the bottom of the pan takes about a second or two to fill in, as shown below. Salt and pepper to taste. However, if you're not serving immediately, you can leave the gravy a little loose. Flour/roux based gravies will continue to thicken when taken off the heat.

Come to think of it... I've never tried dumping all of the milk in at once. I add the milk a little at a time to minimize lumps (floury dough balls). However, if I can add all the milk at once it will save some time in the long run. In theory, a roux is supposed to mix easily with the liquid without lumping/clumping. I should try adding all the milk at once the next time I make gravy.

The Dish
Bacon gravy over refrigerated Grands biscuits, scrambled, potatoes and bacon.

Delicious bacony goodness. :-)

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