How To Make Sausage Milk Gravy


My friend, Michael, called me this week and threatened to put a hit out on me if I keep proliferating our once guarded recipes. He said “It ain’t right you giving all of these things out!”. I mentioned Paula Deen and he quickly let me know that he wasn’t too happy with her for her betrayal of our food heritage either. Michael was being good natured about it, heck I was thrilled that he had actually read my site, but it still doesn’t hurt to know that his Mama has been reading my site as well so I have a built in bodyguard in Miss Nita.
I also have some canned apple butter that he is hoping to get his hands on…

Today, we’re going to make a real staple. This recipe is going to separate the men from the mice, as they say. In our case, it would be one of those things which literally draws the line in the sand. Suppose a person of the northern persuasion (my new politically correct way of saying “yankee”) were to inflitrate our lines and pose as a native. Suppose, just suppose, that discovering who this person was would affect our like…..national security or something. Lets say they wanted to deface our big statue of the boll weevil or some other horrific crime. Well, this gravy alone could detect who the imposter was. Keep reading, I’ll show you why.

Note: No yankees were harmed in the making of this tutorial. They were fed obscene amounts of gravy and southern cooking and will be staying a spell so we can have time to pump them full of dumplings, apple butter, grits, sweet tea, and any other good stuff we can come up with.

You’ll need: Milk, Flour (self rising or plain, doesn’t matter), and sausage.

Don’t you just love simple recipes? That is one of the best things about southern cooking, its just plain simple and just plain good. Always unnerves me when I see a recipe for sausage gravy with an ingredient list that reads like a scientific classification. I think southerners are just trying to show off to folks of the northern persuasion when they do that. Theres no need.
Milk, Flour, Sausage = Sausage gravy.

See that sausage in the pic? You know you’re from my neck of the woods if you took one look at that sausage package and immediately started humming this song. Just for kicks, I like to sing the first part out loud… “For real country sausage, the best you ever tried….” Then wait to hear my kids finish it off… “Take home a package of our Tennessee Pride!”. Thats how I know I raised them right. A person of the northern persuasion would not know this song, of course.
*Conversely, though, you could use this to spot a redneck in your midst. I’m afraid I’d pass (or fail, depending on your point of view) this test with both hands tied behind my back.

Slice your sausage in whatever thickness you prefer. I usually go for about half an inch but some people like it thinner.

Place sausage in pan over medium heat and cook until well browned.
It will look something like this. See that brown stuff in the bottom? Thats gonna be your gravy!
Remove sausage once it is done and place on paper towel lined plate to drain. You will have a good bit of grease left in your skillet. You need about two tablespoons, so if you have more drain it off to leave about that much.
Sprinkle three to four tablespoons of flour in your skillet.

Cook this over medium low heat until the flour is browned.

Scrape the bottom of the skillet to stir sausage bits into your gravy.
Pepper it to taste.
Salt it to taste.
Add milk. I added about a cup and a half here.

Stir well until smooth and creamy.

Take a piece of sausage or two and crumble it up in your gravy.

I made a small amount of gravy so I just used one sausage.

Most folks will take a biscuit and set it on their plate and spoon gravy onto it. They might cut it in half first and spoon gravy on both halves.
Thats not how we really like it though.
We REALLY like to tear our biscuit up in our bowl…because that’s what our mamas did when we were little. :)

Spoon gravy all over it. At this point you can use a fork……or get a spoon and really pretend your mama is there.

If you tear up the biscuits for your guests, you will likely notice them sprouting huge grins at seeing the nostalgic sight.
However, some of them may look at you awful funny – I think you’ve spotted your yankee at this point. Get out your best plates, give them the head of the table, and provide them with the best apple butter and biscuits you have to offer.
We want them leaving with a good impression, by god!
Bring on the sweet tea! We got company!

I bet they won’t wanna mess with our Boll Weevil statue after all…

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  1. Sally says

    I use the same ingredients, but make it a little differently. I brown and crumble the sausage in the pan and remove (or add) grease as needed. Then sprinkle flour over the sausage and grease letting it cook and the flour brown. Then I add the milk and make the gravy. It’s my Saturday morning treat during the winter months.

  2. Don says

    OK, you might call me a So Cal Redneck, I’m ok with that. I do about the same, except I add a bunch of chopped bacon and use about I third of the sausage. Once this is mostly done, I add a slice of finely diced Jalapeno, handful of onion, half a handful of bell pepper. when those are close to browned (along with the bacon and sausage) I add a handful of diced ham.

    Once that is finished browning I add my flour. Once that is ready, i stir in my milk. At this point I add some garlic powder, about 1/2 tsp, chili powder, 1/4 tsp, cayenne powder, 1/8 tsp, and whisk smooth. I simmer until flour taste is gone and there you go. So Cal milk gravy. At least how I make it.

  3. Amy Ellis says

    I always tear my biscuits up just like my mamaw did for me. I now live in the land of the North. I am slowly trying to teach them the way of our people. I have introduced them to the wonderful world of milk gravy, pimento cheese, chicken fried steak and pinto beans! Won’t be to much longer and they will be sayin’ y’all and fixin’ to.

  4. Elizabeth says

    This “Yankee” loves your recipes. Funny how us northerner s don’t seem to realize there’s still a war waging down south! I guess I need to cross over that Mason -Dixon line a bit more and visit our neighborly south.

    • says

      Ack! This post was written during the first few months of southernplate, when my fondest dream was having five readers who weren’t related to me ;). I’ve since grown wiser, more diplomatic, and am able to draw humor without having to rely on civil war boundaries ;). Another time I’d like to go back and give myself a hug, tightly, with both hands, around the neck. :)

      • Jim says

        I’m about as Yankee as they come, and I can say I love your humor, ya, some people just take life too serious! Then I have lived south of the Mason Dixon line for almost half of my life. I got a bunch of great sausage from a friend who makes it, and wanted sausage and gravy for breakfast. DOH, I have no milk! :-( So its either just eat eggs… again (I have chickens) or take a trip to the store in the morning.

        With all the recipes I looked at today, yours made me smile the most and made me say something, a rare thing.

  5. terry b says

    Wouldn’t it be nice if most of the comments were from those who have tried your recipes and want only to communicate that experience. It is also good to hear of slight alterations. However, I’m sure most of us can do without the “looks Yummy, can’t wait to try!” comments.

    Terry Bee

    • says

      Hey Terry!
      Oh goodness, that would not be nice at all, really :). After spending hours photographing a recipe, cooking it, typing it up, uploading photos, creating a post, doing all of the writing, and then creating a newsletter to send out to everyone, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the kind people who take time to stop by and tell me thank you or that something looks good.
      I would never want to do anything but express gratitude for kind people who take time to encourage and chat back with me in the comments.
      This is the second time you’ve commented on my site so I haven’t had an opportunity to get to know you really, but both times you’ve pointed out how much this bothered you. I’m afraid you’ll always find this to be the case on SouthernPlate, because that is the type of website this is. It is a community, not just a standard recipe-only website. There are plenty of those on the net. This is my little virtual front porch online and I encourage and greatly appreciate all of the wonderful people who take time to comment, even if it is just “this looks yummy.” As the one doing all the work, I gotta tell ya that I can’t keep doing it without those comments :). They are generous and good hearted folks and I’m glad to have them here.

  6. Catherine says

    “Sing it over and over and over again……FROS…TEE…MORN……”

    That commercial would play every morning at about 7:55 a.m. on WLS Nashville…when we heard it in my dad’s car we knew we were gonna be late for school!
    Too bad we can’t buy Frosty Morn sausage here in North Alabama, but Dean’s is made in these parts…

  7. Shannon says

    My Papa always loved to eat tomatoes and cantaloupe with his biscuits and gravy. I never was a fan of the cantaloupe/gravy idea until after he died. Now I eat it just to think of him. It’s a big, warm, happy hug from him.

  8. kb says

    Took me years to figure out my grandma’s “real” recipe for sausage gravy. She used the bacon grease from the coffee can on the counter to brown the flour! She served it w home canned tomato juice and fried apples…mmmmm!

  9. Allen Mize says

    Christy I have a new flavor for you. I am the breakfast king, at home, at the lake amd at the hunting camp. I make gravy all the time. Its the same recipe as set out herein. My grandmother, Nanny, taught me to make it. Except, as noted, you made a very small batch. I usually plan out my roux (the browning of flour in grease) and milk ratio to nearly a cup of milk per person and never have a drop left over. Anyway, I started using Purnells “Old Folks” Smokehouse sausage. Its made from smoked cuts. It provides a deep rich flavor to the gravy. I found the sausage at Publix. Its made in Kentucky. Smiths Farms in Cullman also makes a good smoked breakfast sausage that gives the gravy a deeper flavor. One more thing, the gravy will turn out creamier if your milk is room temperature instead of right out of the ice box. And never use “blue john” (skim or reduced fat milk)

  10. Melissa S Burns says

    I LOVE this recipe, and especially the step by step pictures, for making sausage gravy. I am terrible at making gravy from scratch and this one always turns out right. I brown my sausage in crumbles instead of patties and season the sausage with garlic and sage. I use a whisk to make the roux and it gets all the bits off the bottom. I use the pictures every time I make it and my hubby is always impressed that it turns out. Thank you so much for posting this on your blog. I have it pinned on Pinterest so I can always find it. I have not made this in several months but I’m planning to make it for breakfast tomorrow. :)

  11. Bob says

    This is just the way we have always made it and it doesn’t get any better. We have Tennessee Pride in Arkansas but I usually use bacon grease to cook the gravy if not making sausage gravy. I also like to make enough for leftovers! ( leftover gravy is good for anything!!!!)

  12. Joyce says

    A big thank you for posting the pics! I am 60 now and have always made my gravy this way (my sweet mama taught me to do it like this :).. and to this day, I still have to tear up my biscuits on my plate before the gravy goes on! :D. Also, if you want really soft cornbread,,, put the left over gravy in it! Mama showed me that also <3 . And yes, being here on your site and reading is as pleasant as sittin on the front porch with a jar of sweet tea.,, <3

  13. Bill says

    I think you may have a bunch of undercover Yankees here…no one’s mentioned gravy on grits….yum, yum. Yankees seem to believe you eat grits plain. Personally some of my favorites are butter, honey and butter and GRAVEEEEE. YUM, YUM.
    Also goes great on scrambled eggs, and mashed or baked ‘taters…
    Love this stuff!

  14. Christi says

    Thank u for posting this simple recipe! I’m from Maryland, so there are a lot of influences from both the north & the south here when it comes to food. My MomMom used to make chipped beef gravy, sausage gravy, & hamburger gravy all the time when I was little, & she’d always tear up the biscuits! Thank you for this simple recipe, as I’ve never made my own gravy. I don’t care for sausage, but I’m going to use this recipe to make hamburger gravy!

  15. Sapphire says

    I’m a Yankee girl cooking for a Southern-born husband. I’ve mastered the buttermilk biscuits and milk gravy with bacon grease. Yesterday he asked for sausage gravy so that was tonight’s dinner project and it turned out quite well with Jimmy Dean sausage, so I’m quite pleased. Every time he asks for something, I have to search the internet for “southern” kind of recipes so I can get it right! My first peach cobbler was a failure, so I have to work on that one. Thank you, Christy, for making this site for those of us cooking in a mixed marriage!

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