Biscuits with Sausage and Espresso Gravy

We were in Portland a couple of weeks ago where we had many great meals, but I guess it was the final meal that stayed in our memories.  It was a breakfast of biscuits with espresso gravy.  I have cooked with coffee grounds before.  I have a great recipe for a coffee-marinated pork loin that continually surprises me by its smokey flavor and the coffee has the same presence in this gravy.

The blog The Chubby Vegetarian published a nice recipe for this breakfast.  I think the vegetarian version also looks fantastic and will try it too, one day, but today, we had some fresh pork sausage to use.  The biscuit recipe is flaky and easy,  I used all butter and the leftover biscuits were quickly finished as shortcakes with some local, ripe strawberries.

Happy Sunday brunch!

3-2-1 Buttermilk Drop Biscuits

Makes 10-12 biscuits

  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Using your fingers, cut in the shortening until pieces are no larger than a pea. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the milk. Using a rubber spatula, fold the milk into the dry ingredients — but use as few strokes as possible. The less you stir the dough, the more tender your biscuits will be.

Using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop up a 1/4-cup portion of dough and drop it onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used. (You should get about a dozen biscuits from this recipe.) Be sure to leave an inch or so between each biscuit, but don’t be too particular about their shape — drop biscuits are supposed to be rustic. Bake for 15 minutes or until the craggy edges are brown and crispy.

Espresso Red-Eye Gravy

2 tablespoon butter
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt (to taste)
1/4 cup espresso (or strong coffee)
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup

Brown the sausage along with the black pepper, red pepper flakes, and salt (if needed).  Pour off most of the sausage fat, then add the espresso to deglaze the pan. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Push the sausage mixture off to one side of the pan. In the clearing, add the 2 tablespoons of butter. Once it is melted, add the flour and whisk the two together. Allow this mixture to cook for a minute until the flour becomes fragrant. Whisk in the milk and maple syrup. Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and cook an additional five minutes until mixture is thick.

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