True Southern biscuits and gravy


Hands down this recipe makes the best biscuits and gravy you’ll ever eat.


Nothing disturbs me more than stopping in to a greasy spoon somewhere and seeing Southern ‘Biscuits and gravy’ on the menu. I love biscuits and gravy! Ordering them though is another matter all together. I bet, no, I know, when my breakfast arrives my plate will contain those horrible institutionally pre frozen biscuits drowned in that white soapy tasting gravy that sells in #10 cans!

What really amazes me is when I run into this down here in the Southern Boonies you’d think the folks in town would run the cook out on a rail! I mean Southern? Pu-lease!

First of all, biscuits have to be made fresh, and they’re so easy to do so. I can lay out a breakfast of biscuits and gravy from scratch just as fast as if using pre made junk. And… it taste dee-licious!

When friends come down here to visit from out west or (shudder) up North, the conversation always seems to get around to ‘real’ Southern food. I’m not kidding here but my biscuits and gravy are always held up as “real Southern food”. The reason? The recipe is well over 100 years old…and given to me by someone who’s family has been here in the South since the early 1800’s. This is a true Heritage recipe. I have “modernized” it for convenience sake. After all, who would know that a ‘passle’ of salt is equal to 1/2 tsp or running your wood cook stove at ‘very quick’ is equal to 450-500 degrees.

Biscuit recipe  (read entire recipe through before starting)

2 Cups of unbleached all purpose unbleached flour (not bread flour)

4 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

3/4 teaspoon of salt

2 Tablespoons of butter

2 Tablespoons of shortening (The original recipe calls for pork lard and it still makes the best tasting biscuits!)

1 cup of buttermilk. (Powdered buttermilk mix can be used. It works great and last for months or you can make your own.  Simply add 1 Tbl of white vinegar to each cup of milk, stir and let stand 15 minutes until curdling starts , then use.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Gather all ingredients, baking pans etc, before starting. Flour is best if chilled ( I always keep mine in the fridge anyway. Flour beatle’s can easily hatch in warm flour. Also make sure your baking powder is not out of date or your biscuits may not rise!). Chilled flour will prevent butter and shortening from melting too early.

In a large mixing bowl, (do not use an electric mixer for this recipe)  combine chilled flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don’t want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky. Add enough flour to the bowl until it looks like the dough can be rolled out. The dough is to remain a bit sticky so be careful not to add so much flour that the dough becomes a bread dough.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Press into a ¾ inch thick round. Cut out biscuits with a 2-inch cutter. (A small drinking glass works well.)  Push straight down through the dough while twisting cutter to free the biscuit from the dough pile. Place biscuits on a ungreased baking sheet so that they nearly touch. Reform scrap dough, working it as little as possible and continue cutting more biscuits out of it.

Bake until biscuits are tall and golden brown on top, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Sausage gravy recipe

1 lb plain or sage spiced breakfast sausage*

½ teaspoon of pepper

dash of salt (if desired)

1 teaspoon of ground sage

3-4 Tablespoons of flour

4 cups of milk

Brown sausage while adding salt, pepper and sage to browning sausage. Preheat milk to very warm temperature but not to scalding. When sausage is almost completely browned, add the 3 tbl flour sprinkling it evenly over sausage. Brown flour with sausage for 2 more minutes.

Add the warm milk while stirring constantly. Boiling will be noted. If needed, add milk or small amounts of flour to get the consistency you like in your gravy.

Pour over biscuits (broken up or whole)  immediately and serve hot.


* How to make your very own breakfast sausage from scratch;

Use either 2 lbs of pork butt or pre ground bulk pork sausage. (if pork butt is used; dice into 1/4″ pieces)

1/2 lb of fat back. Cut it also into 1/4″ pieces.

Mix pork and fat together then grind in either a hand or electric meat grinder

In a large bowl mix the ingredients listed below by hand into in to the ground pork; Never use an electric mixer.

2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp pepper

2 tsp of fresh finely chopped sage leaves or 1 tsp of powdered sage

2 tsp of fresh finely chopped thyme leaves or 1 tsp of powdered thyme

2 tsp of fresh finely chopped rosemary or 1 tsp of powdered rosemary

1 Tbl of brown sugar

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and chill for 1-2 hours to tighten meat up. (I chill mine overnight to increase the flavor). Using the fine grinder blade, grind pork . If using pre ground bulk sausage chill and mix all ingredients together well.  Cook as above recipe instructs. (To make into patties just roll into balls, flatten into a 3″ round and cook in a medium heated skillet.)


18 comments on “True Southern biscuits and gravy

  1. Jennirific says:

    Can’t wait to try your sausage recipe. I am making breakfast for dinner tonight and biscuits and gravy are on the menu!

  2. ..thats done it! now i dont need to worry about what im going to cook for brekkie in the mroning when im out n about! ive been using my own recipes out in the bush for years…but you guys wouldnt wanna know about them…after all, you wanna keep your dinner in your tummy, dont you…….see, i really care about you all….;)

    • Yup, I ‘ve seen folks eat some awful strange stuff…mostly just plain awful! LOL

      I’m checking out your blog, good postings so far. I’ll delve through more of ’em just as soon as I got a few minutes. Chores come first I’m afraid 🙂 JW

      • no probs, sir! yes, i wouldnt want to share any of what i eat when hiking…oh no….tahts something i wouldnt wish for anybody…not even my worst enemies…hehe! tkns a lot for attempting a read of my blog…as u can see, its early days yet, and im kinda new to this stuff…;)

      • Being a bit stove up ( partially crippled from falling off a building) I end up living vicariously now through my own and others writings. You’ll do fine my friend 🙂

      • oh…so sorry to hear that…how did taht happen, you falling off?….thanks for the fillip…hopefully, with a little help from you experienced guys, i’m hoping to squirm along like a snail….!

  3. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

    and I just may cook this one!
    Thanks once again for bringing the good ones back!
    I do appreciate it

    • If they’re not good, I don’t eat or share ’em 🙂

      • LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words says:

        that is a standard Southern rule isn’t it
        engrained from when we first pulled a stool up to the stove to help ?

      • You got that right. I can remember my Ma throwing a recipe in the trash that her sister gave her. When I asked why she was doing that she said, “Don’t you ever tell her, but some recipes need to die so they’re not passed down…your Aunt, bless her soul, has the taste budds of a groundhog!”

  4. holycrapliz says:

    Thank you for sharing such a delicious recipe! I may not have been born in the south, but oh my goodness do I love true southern cooking and this was no exception! My husband and I devoured everything. Thanks again!

    • Love your wordpress name! Glad you enjoyed the recipe. I think the common denominator for Southern and Western cooking is that the recipes started in the home, not a restaurant ore cooking web site. Not disparaging them but old recipes are good recipes if only because they have been handed down time and time again. Who would hand down a recipe that tasted terrible, yet I’ve found many online that would gag a man. It may not be that Southern cooking is the all beats all but at least the bad ones was thrown away! LOL

  5. GardingG'ma says:

    Had a laugh at your “passle o’salt” comment. This is why I have such a hard time sharing my recipes. My grandmother taught me to cook & it was a pinch of this & a dash of that & was all about how things looked & felt & smelled. When she was a girl, there were still a few stragglers from the native tribes in the area. Her family had moved from the bottom of the hill where my g’g’grandfather decided it had become too crowded (6 houses) to the top of the hill which didn’t even have a road. They were dirt poor & not used to living in the woods. She said they would bake pies every week & leave a couple on the window sill for the Indians to take and, in return, they taught the family about everything that was edible in the surrounding woods. My g’mother & siblings were brought up eating mostly greens, groundnuts, mushrooms, bread & the occasional deer or critter that could be caught. Must have been pretty darn healthy as they all lived to 100 or beyond. Your recipes are much like my own & love that they are being shared.

    • Your comments remind me of why I write westerns. My family were western pioneers and I always loved their stories. I posted one funny one of my grandfather recently. Where did you family come from (State or territory)? My family has a lot of Blackfoot Indian and Nez Perce in them. They bounce in and out of the family tree. I wrote a book that has a ton of old recipes in it. It’s on my blog for free. It’s in the heritage cooking section of my blog called, The Heritage cookbook I wrote, “Cooking with Maw Maw”. Each story has a recipe to it. I think you’d really enjoy it. Thanks for checking out my blog 🙂 JW

  6. Hello, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Ie, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it
    has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, awesome blog!

    • Since my blog is under the control of WordPress I don’t really have any control over how it formats with a browser. I opened it in IE and didn’t see any problem but I do appreciate your note. Also, I really appreciate your checking my blog out! Thanks, JW

  7. […] the recipe I use what-so-ever. NONE. You can find the recipe I use over at a blog titled, “Heritage and Trail Cooking“. His recipe is, hands down, the best version of biscuits and gravy that I have ever tasted. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s