Biscuits & gravy

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 31, 2006



Andy Husbands runs some of Boston's best restaurants, including Tremont 647 and Sister Sorel and we have recipes from him splattered throughout the site. 
 
Rouge, his barbecue restaurant on Boston's Tremont Street, is one of our favorites. It's one of the only places in the urban Northeast where you can get old-fashioned biscuits & gravy. It's an awesome tailgate dish on cold mornings. We joined the Rouge kitchen staff one winter day to see how they made their tasty biscuits & gravy. This is how it's done. (His biscuits require quite a bit of work. For more on homemade biscuits, including the magic of Bisquick, see our short guide to biscuits, which serve many tailgate purposes.)
 
You can whip up the biscuits the morning of your tailgate or even the night before. They'll taste fine cold or room temperature, but you can heat them up on gameday elevated or over indirect heat in your grill. Then make the gravy in a Dutch oven at the tailgate.
 
For the biscuits:
4 cups of very cold flour (store in the freezer for a while before using)
4 teaspoons of baking soda
 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder
1½ teaspoons kosher salt in a mixing bowl.
5 Tablespoons of very cold butter (store
3 Tablespoons of very cold Crisco
1½ cups of well-shaken buttermilk
 
Combine dry intredients in a mixing bowl. Add small chunks of butter and Crisco to the dry ingredients and break up any larger chunks in the flour with clean, dry hands.
 
Add the buttermilk and mix by hand. Kneed only briefly and gently, as overworked biscuits will be tough. The dough should be about 1½ to 2 inches high and have visible chunks of butter and Crisco in it.

Cut out biscuits with a three-inch-round cutter. Gently rework the remaining dough only once, discarding what's left over after the second set of biscuits is cut. Pack the biscuits tightly together in a pan lined with parchment and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.

Brush the tops with a generous coat of buttermilk and cook at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. The high temperature will cause the cold butter and oil in the dough to turn to steam, creating fluffy, airy biscuits.

For the gravy:
12 ounces of bulk sausage (Jimmy Dean sausage wil do, but Rouge makes their own. Our homemade sausage will work perfectly)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
2 Tablespoons of butter
4 Tablespoons of flour
2 cups of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and cayenne pepper to taste 
Chopped parsley
 
Pour the olive oil in a sauce pan or cast-iron pan and brown the sausage over medium heat. Break up the sausage with a wooden mixing spoon. As pork fat begins to render, mix in the butter (Jimmy Dean sausages do not have much fat, so throw in a little extra butter if you need to).

When butter is melted, turn heat to low, slowly add about 4 tablespoons of flour, or enough to absorb the fat, forming a roux. Mix and simmer until the flour flavor begins to dissipate but before the roux becomes dark.

Add 2 cups of whole milk slowly enough to get out any lumps of flour. Add 2 cups of heavy cream. Continue mixing. Add kosher salt, lots of fresh ground pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Simmer over low heat until gravy becomes rich and thick. Add more cream, milk, flour or seasoning as needed. Ladle the gravy over the biscuits and top with a little chopped parsley and fresh cracked pepper.


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