Mom's Browned Butter Gravy

Monday, March 23, 2015

It's Monday morning but you can pretend it's Sunday with this recipe for gravy that I learned how to make while standing at my Mom's elbow during many a morning of my childhood. The creamy goodness of browned gravy made in a cast iron skillet is hard to beat.  Spooned over warm, flaky biscuits, it is practically irresistible and is only made more perfect by a fried or poached egg on top.

Mom would heat her cast iron skillet and start a generous slab of butter melting in a bubbly pool while she opened her flour canister and got the milk out of the fridge. Usually, there was leftover bacon grease in a little white mug beside the stove and a spoonful of this joined the butter.  Then came the sprinkling of flour, the constant whisking and the gradual adding of milk.  When the mixture reached a steaming bubble of yummy thickened consistency, she added a pinch of salt from the crock on the counter, a few shakes of pepper and we were ready to sit down to a marvelous breakfast of biscuits and gravy.  Or home fries and gravy. Or pancakes and gravy. Or fried mush and gravy.

Following is my basic gravy recipe, which can be dressed up in a variety of ways and served as you choose.  Enjoy!

Mom's Browned Butter Gravy

1.  Melt 1/4 cup butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  When the butter starts bubbling and releases a fragrant smell, whisk in 1/3 cup flour.  Keep whisking, and allow this butter/flour mixture to brown slightly.  Slowly add the milk (approximately 3 1/2 cups or a tad more), small streams at a time, whisking constantly.  It's important to add the milk slowly, whisking constantly, to create a smooth gravy (no lumps allowed).  This process can take up to 10 minutes - pouring, whisking, pouring, whisking, until the mixture has thickened.  Then, remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of fresh pepper, and a chunk of butter (1 Tablespoon, approximately).  I like to add a bit of hot sauce to give the gravy just a tad bit of heat - it doesn't take much, perhaps 1/2 teaspoon.  Pour over biscuits and enjoy!

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