If you don’t know how to make sawmill gravy it can be a little intimidating. Let me take your through the recipe step by step so you understand exactly what to do and why!
There isn’t a recipe I make that gives me the warm fuzzies more than homemade sawmill gravy. When I think about it, I guess I equate this recipe with love and family. Why? Because in today’s day and age we have all these premade gravy mixes and ready-made jars of gray goo we can purchase so the only people who care how to make sawmill gravy from scratch is someone looking to make something special for their loved ones. And nothing brings a family together like a hearty home-cooked breakfast!
As a matter of fact, if I were President I would replace family court with sawmill gravy cooking lessons. It could be revolutionary. Fox Valley Foodie 2016! Though instead of slinging mud, my campaign would sling gravy. It'd be delicious.
If you don’t know how to make sawmill gravy it can be a little intimidating. It is not as simple as dumping ingredients together and making magic happen! To make a good gravy you need to make a good roux.
How to Make a Roux
What is a roux? A roux is a mixture of flour and fat that is heated together and used as a thickening agent in soups and sauces. It is the base of any decent sawmill gravy recipe. It is also where most people screw up their sawmill gravy.
You want to create a light brown roux. Basically, the longer you cook the roux, the darker it gets. If you don’t cook the roux long enough your gravy will taste like flour (a lesson it seems I enjoyed learning over and over in the past), if you cook it too long it will get really dark and take on an overly nutty taste, or worse, burn. If you scorch/burn your roux, throw it out and start over. This is why it is recommended to use a heavy bottomed pan like cast iron (affiliate link) when making a roux. The cast iron is more resistant to temperature fluctuations so you can keep a more even heat that won’t burn the flour.
Then finally, I want to mention that it is important to incorporate the milk slowly into the roux. This will help it combine evenly without lumps. After adding a splash of milk wisk briskly to combine, once there are no lumps add more milk and continue wisking. Repeat until all the milk has been added. If you add all the milk at once the roux may be lumpy and never fully blend with the milk.
Sawmill Gravy with Sausage
The other key component to sawmill gravy is the required breakfast sausage. I have made it with bacon, but it tastes better with sausage. If I had to offer an explanation why, I would surmise that the better flavor is due to the additional seasonings found in breakfast sausage. Browning the sausage in heavy bottomed pan creates fond, which is the little burnt on brown bits that are stuck on the bottom of the pan. These are essential to flavoring your gravy. After your sausage is cooked and you start your roux with the drippings (similarly to making a brown gravy recipe) these delicious bits of concentrated flavor are going to incorporate themselves into your gravy, bringing with them a ton of flavor. For this reason it is not recommended to make your gravy in a non stick pan.
So now that you understand the key components that are needed to make a great sawmill gravy, let me show you how to make sawmill gravy! You can use these same techniques to make my Cheesy Chorizo Gravy too!
How to make Sawmill Gravy
- 1 lb of breakfast sausage
- ¼ cup fat drippings
- ¼ cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper or to taste
- Cook sausage in cast iron pan until well done.
- Remove from pan and pour off all but ¼ cup of fat.
- Turn off heat to prevent scorching and add the flour to the drippings.
- Cook and stir over medium heat 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture starts to turn golden. (This burns away the raw flour flavor which must be done before liquid is introduced)
- Slowly add milk, stirring constantly.
- Cook gravy until it boils and thickens.
- Sausage may be added back to gravy. Add salt and pepper when gravy is nearing the desired consistency.
If you enjoyed reading How to Make Sawmill Gravy then you should probably like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. That’s what I would do at least, and if you are willing to take my advice on the food you put into your body you should probably follow my advice on that too.