My Dad’s country gravy is absolutely the best! It epitomizes my idea of comfort food. I grew up enjoying it as a special treat for breakfast every Sunday morning. It is a bitter sweet thing to say that Dad’s country gravy is the one thing I really look forward to when I go to visit him. It is bitter sweet because we lost my Mom a few weeks ago quite suddenly, and I still want to say “When I visit my parents.” Wow. That was hard to type.
Digressing, when I went down for Mom’s funeral, I got Dad to again show me this recipe and let me take photos so I could make sure I had it right. Dad learned to make it when he was a kid growing up in southeast (yes, Hatfield & McCoy Territory) West Virginia in the 40s. My grandmother used to make it and as I recall, she always used a cast iron skillet which I firmly believe added to the flavor. This is a theory I plan to test soon. Dad’s country gravy is quick, simple, and versatile and if it is not right, it is easy to correct. That said, Dad does not use measuring cups or spoons … he just knows. So I will guestimate the amounts for you below, but this is something you just have play with until you get it the way you like it. So don’t be afraid to adjust the amounts. And be sure to scroll down through the photo montage and read the captions. I tell some stories there!
- 1/2 cup breakfast meat drippings (any will do) or your preferred fat (lard, Crisco, coconut oil, whatever you have)
- 3/4 cup flour (any kind, doesn't matter)
- 2 cups milk (preferably whole milk but low fat will do)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs cornstarch dissolved in a little warm water, but only if necessary (Dad rarely resorts to it, but until you master it, have it ready just in case.)
- Fry up your breakfast meat, remove it from the pan and leave the drippings in the pan. In this case we used bacon, but I prefer sausage. Then, when the gravy is done, I like to crumble the sausage and mix it into the gravy. But bacon works, too. If you are going meatless & using another kind of fat, please don't expect the same results. It will not be as good.
- Reduce heat to medium or medium low if necessary.
- Add flour to the oil and stir it in to absorb the oil and start to brown up a bit. Stir constantly to prevent scorching.
- When it starts to thicken up, add salt & pepper to taste. We like lots of pepper but usually the drippings have all the salt it needs so we just let folks add more salt at the table if they want it.
- Pour in most of the milk (save a little back in case it gets too thick) and stir constantly while working out the lumps. Keep stirring ... and stirring.
- Keep stirring just a little longer until a gravy consistency is reached. If the consistency is not right ... and it is too thick, add a little more milk. If it is too thin, add a little dissolved cornstarch. Stir for another minute or two.
- Mix in sausage crumbles, if you have them. Serve over warm crumbled biscuits or toast.
Do you have a cherished recipe passed down from your grandparents or great-grandparents? Tell us about it below!