Veg in Cow Country

cooking (and eating) vegan and vegetarian in the midwest

Biscuits and Gravy October 22, 2011

Filed under: Comfort Food — vegincowcountry @ 10:45 am

I hadn’t had biscuits and sausage gravy for years when I went to a breakfast meeting last year… I became completely distracted by the beautiful, fragrant plate of biscuits and gravy across the table. While my own “breakfast out” of choice (hash browns with spinach and mushrooms, and fresh fruit) is always good, I don’t think I heard a word spoken by the interesting and prominent speakers at that meeting due to my interest in my tablemate’s food! Genuine farm food, biscuits and gravy are much loved in Cow Country!

Since I do not believe in depriving myself of delicious food (and I couldn’t stop thinking about biscuits and gravy!), I set out to make a vegan version. I found the Vegan Sausage Gravy recipe online somewhere, I honestly don’t remember where. I have altered it some, as I do most recipes.

Vegan biscuits presented a challenge – although you can buy some refrigerated biscuits at the grocery store (and some are good), I wanted to make them from scratch. I finally found a recipe online (and again, I don’t recall where I got it – this was before the blog).

Apparently, biscuits of the kind Midwesterners and Southerners slather with gravy are only found in the United States. I realize that “biscuits” in most of the English speaking world are cookies, but I didn’t realize that this particular type of baked good doesn’t exist elsewhere!

I have mentioned before how much I love the Yahoo Vegetarian Group — when I mentioned biscuits and gravy to my friends there and shared the recipe, several people from the U.K. and Australia politely commented that the gravy sounded good, but why in the world would you put it on biscuits?? Our Southern friends beat the rest of us in answering, explaining that a biscuit in the U.S. is kind of like an un-sweet scone — not a dessert. And of course, they were able to explain all of the wonderful, delicious things you can do with a biscuit!


After trial and error, I have found that I prefer the Smart Life Gimme Lean sausage. It crumbles better than links or patties, is vegan, and has the best taste.(And of course it didn’t occur to me to take a photo until I had it in the pan!)

Start your biscuits first, get them in the oven, and then start the gravy.

Sausage Gravy

½ package Gimme Lean (or 6 links or patties of your favorite brand)

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp all purpose flour

1-1 ½ cup vegetable broth or warm non-dairy milk (or a combination of the two)

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp dried sage

Freshly ground black pepper

Place the sausage and 1 Tbsp oil in frying pan, fry until done and browned. Break into small pieces. Add the remaining oil and flour to a small pot. Mix flour with the oil over medium-low heat until a roux is formed. Slowly add the broth or warm milk, mixing well. Add salt, pepper, sage and cooked sausage pieces. Bring mixture to a boil.

*Use more milk and less broth if you want the color of the gravy to be lighter, more like a cream gravy.

Biscuits

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup white whole wheat flour

4 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

¼ cup Earth Balance vegan margarine

1 cup non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar and salt. Cut butter in until mixed. Stir in milk until just combined. Turn dough onto floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll dough until just under 1” thick and cut into 2 1/2” circles and place on baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serve gravy on top of warm biscuits!



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