Tag Archives: Gravy

Biscuit & Gravy Sausage Dippers

Life gets busy, it gets hectic, it gets messy….literally at times.  So one morning, while cleaning the house up in a hurry for unexpected company, my boys were just about begging me for biscuits and gravy.  I had zero time for that nonsense, but the “mom-guilt” was setting in.  Scanning my fridge and pantry I found a few staples that I could conjure up into their breakfast favorite; my fingers were crossed at least.

Whelp, all I can say in conclusion is that THIS is the way I may always make them “biscuits and gravy” from here on out.  It was quick, virtually no cleanup, and no mess with having young boys try and cut their biscuits with a fork, dropping crumbs on the ground, gravy dribbles across the table…sausage grease on the stove, flour on the counter…nope!  Just baked and rolled sausage crescent in hand with a gravy dipping sauce.  Oh the obviousness that’s been in my house this entire time…

*For a “crustier” baked dough, simply brush a bit of egg wash (1 egg+ 1 Tbsp water) overtop the prepared sausage crescents prior to baking.

**You can also add cheese and/or scrambled eggs, cooked bacon, jalapenos etc. to this prior to rolling up and baking.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 package crescent roll dough
  • 8 sausage links (precooked/ready-to-eat)
  • Cream gravy (homemade or packet, ‘Pioneer’ brand makes a pretty good one)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

Lay out the perforated triangles of crescent roll dough onto your baking sheet and place a sausage link, horizontally, at the widest end of the triangle.  Roll the sausage and dough up towards the point, making sure there’s about 1-2″ in between each one.

Place in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the dough puffs up and turns a beautiful golden brown.

Serve with a cup of warm peppered, cream gravy to dip into and some fresh fruit!  Enjoy!

BiscuitandGravySausageDippers

French Onion Chicken Poutine

What kind of comfort-food-sort-of-blogger would I be without a plate full of hot salted fries, topped with a rich gravy and melty cheese chunks?  Not one that I would like to know…

Now here in the states, we fondly know of this dish as Disco Fries (main difference being the variety of cheese overtop), but it’s more commonly known everywhere as “Poutine” thanks to our friends north of the border, eh Canada?  That main difference, again, is the use of real cheese curds…and please choose the white variety for more authenticity.

Now myself, I find the cheese curds in the gourmet cheese/deli section, but if you just cannot track them down, you can substitute torn full-fat mozzarella chunks (NOT the fresh mozzarella you’d make a pizza with) as you actually do not want these cheese chunks to completely melt.

Now to add my weird twist on the forever popular dish, I made a classic French onion soup combined with chicken (my boys always HAVE to have their protein) and turned it into a poutine.  So whether you prefer to eat this with your hands or a fork, you will NOT be unsatisfied!  It’s also equally great as leftovers!!

 

The Starting Lineup

Chicken

  • 2-4 (about 1lb) chicken breast or thighs, skinless/boneless
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced into rings
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons beef broth, divided
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cheese curds
  • Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped, for topping (optional)

French Fries

  • Frozen bagged fries are fine or….
  • 4 very large russet potatoes, skin on, cut into 1″ wide fries
  • Vegetable/ or Canola oil, to fil a large skillet/pot 2″ (or deep fryer)
  • Kosher salt

Begin by cleaning and cutting your potatoes, if making homemade fries.  Add the cut potatoes to a large bowl of ice water and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.  This helps to remove the starch, resulting in a crispier fry.  *Completely pat dry before frying.

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large oven-safe skillet, over low heat, melt butter. Add onions and 4 tablespoons of the beef broth; sauté onions till a buttery brown in shade and are rich and caramelized, about 20+ minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

While onions are cooking, prepare the chicken by drizzling with oil, then seasoning with salt & pepper and the Italian seasonings. Once onions have finished cooking and are removed from the pan, cook chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side over medium-high heat (don’t clean out the pan between the onions and chicken) until browned on both sides. (Chicken may not be fully cooked through yet, that is okay).  Remove from pan.

To the skillet, pour in the beef broth over medium-high heat to deglaze and stir while scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Next, turn down to medium-low heat and whisk in the flour thoroughly for 5-6 minutes until smooth; taste for seasoning.  Add the sautéed onions and browned chicken back in.  Cover the chicken with the Swiss cheese slices and transfer, uncovered, to the oven for 10 minutes, till cheese is melted and bubbly.

*Meanwhile, pat dry (between two towels) and fry up the sliced potatoes.  Salt and keep warm. **After you fry, transfer each batch to a paper towel/baking rack lined baking sheet and straight into a 225 degrees preheated oven.

Remove the skillet of your French Onion Chicken from the oven and either shred or slice the chicken in pan.  Ladle the rich gravy and chicken over your fries and top with the fresh, chopped parsley and cheese curds!  Enjoy!…because I so know you will!!

Poutine

 

German Beef Rouladen

This rich and hearty dish may be foreign and unheard of if you are not of German heritage or frequent European inspired restaurants.  Now being German myself and growing up attending Oktoberfest while eating sausages, kraut and warm, soft Bavarian pretzels in loads of beer cheese…I simply adore Rouladen.  Not because we had it often, rarely ever, but because it was mainly served as a Christmas dinner dish or perhaps a Sunday supper if you were lucky.  It’s a special treat, where it takes a bit of thought and tedious work in assembling, twining, searing and braising the beef…but oh-so worth it!

Another reason that many ‘non-Germans’ may have not tried this specialty dish is because the ingredients could sound a bit odd together.  I get it.  Rouladen usually consists of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef which is then braised until the beef is about fork tender.   Yes, we like a bit of ‘saur’ to our meals, but this works wonderfully….and oh that bacon!!  It cooks inside the beef, which in turn actually bastes itself and creates SUCH a rich flavor and tender meat!…drooling now.

*If you cannot find pre-sliced beef (top round/chuck), your grocer’s butcher would be happy to help!  You’ll just have to pound it thin once you get home. 🙂

The Starting Lineup

  • Beef, thinly sliced and pounded 1/4″ thin to about 4″x6″ (chuck roast or top round slices).  I typically use about 8-10 slices.
  • Whole grain mustard/German mustard
  • 1 pckg Bacon (reserve 2 slices and chop up)
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into thin strips or chopped
  • Dill (or German) pickle spears, 8-10 
  • Sweet pickle relish, a couple Tbsp’s
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped (I use the leftover from the Rouladen stuffing)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup Red wine
  • Beef broth
  • 1/4 cup Flour or cornstarch + milk slurry (to thicken)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)
  • *Butcher twine or toothpicks’ to hold beef rolls together

Serve Alongside (optional)

  • Boiled potatoes, seasoned lightly with salt, pepper and dill (russet/peeled)
  • Warmed German red cabbage (jarred is fine)

The “hardest” part of this recipe is the assembling…once you get everything prepped (chopped, diced, rolled and secured) you’re in the clear and can enjoy a German bier while smelling the braised goodness!

When everything is in it’s place, begin by spreading about a tablespoon of the mustard on one side of the thinly pounded beef, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper (easy on the salt).  Next lay 1-2 slices of bacon down lengthwise, followed by the onions, the sweet relish and finally the dill pickle slice horizontal to the length.  Roll up each prepared beef slice around that dill pickle and secure (as best you can) with the butcher twine or a bevy of toothpicks.

In a large heavy bottomed pot or Dutch-oven (I used my enameled Lodge cast-iron), add in the reserved 2 slices of chopped bacon and render the fat over medium heat.  When bacon is slightly crisped add in the rolled and secured Rouladen (about 1/3 – 1/2 the batch at a time) and brown all sides to create almost a crust.  Remove the seared beef rolls and continue with the rest of the batch (should take about 20 minutes for all).

To that bacon/beef grease (you may need to add 1 Tbsp more of vegetable oil depending), add in the carrots, onions and celery and allow to sweat down for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.  Next, pour in the red wine, again scraping the bottom of the pan for any brown bits…flavor!! and simmer, stirring for 4-5 minutes.

Add the seared Rouladen back into the pot with the veggies/wine and pour in the beef broth till it covers about 2/3rd the way up the meat.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer on low for 1 1/2-2 hours.

Once finished, carefully remove the tender beef rolls to a platter.  Mix 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup milk and whisk into the juices in the pot.  This will thicken and make a gravy.  Now, optional, you can whisk in the sour cream for more richness and a slight tang that the Germans love in their cooking.

To serve:  Thoroughly remove the butcher twine or toothpicks and place Rouladen on a plate, cover with a hearty amount of the gravy and serve with warmed German cabbage and boiled dill-flavored potatoes to help sop up that gravy with!  Prost!!

Rouladen3

Carne Guisada

The best way I can describe the delicious dish of Carne Guisada is that it’s like a thick, hearty Mexican beef stew.  As a matter of fact, I believe that the word guisada translates to “stewed meat”.  The variable on this slow-cooked recipe is that some stew with tomatoes, bell peppers, etc while others just use water and spices.  I have to say that every way I’ve had it across the giant state of Texas has been delightful!

This makes for awesome tacos and burritos, great over eggs and chips for breakfast or just ladled into a bowl!  I am so glad that I found out about this Mexican classic, as it’s become one of my top faves!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Serrano pepper, chopped (seeded)
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt & pepper, each
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • A pinch of chipotle powder (optional for added heat)

As always, begin by prepping all of the vegetables and having everything ready at hand.  


In a large bowl, dredge the cubed meat in the flour. Toss to coat evenly.  Next, in a Dutch oven, heat up the oil to med-high heat.  Add in the dredged, cubed meat a brown on all sides (do not cook through).  Once browned, remove from the Dutch oven and set aside.  *I do this in batches so that the meat doesn’t steam, but seared.


Now that the meat has browned and been set aside, add in the onions and bell pepper and sauté (while picking up the brown bits in the bottom of the pan) for about 4-5 minutes; add in the garlic for that last minute. 

Now you can add the seared meat back into the Dutch oven along with the tomatoes, cilantro, Serrano and spices.  Give a good stir.

Finally pour in the beef broth and water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2-3+ hours or until the beef is tender and the sauce has reduced into a thick “gravy”.  *Stir occasionally.


Serve alongside warm tortillas, chips, beans, roasted potatoes, sour cream, lime wedges, etc.  Ejoy!!

Seared Pork Chops w/ a Southern Bacon Tomato Gravy

You get it by now..we LOVE our comfort food in this house!  If I’m not devouring a taco or 5, you can often find me with a big ol plate of braised meat, mashed potatoes and gravy!  Oh my….

This is actually a pretty quick recipe that you don’t have to let stew all day long, but will still gives your home a wonderful aroma and a family pleasing meal..  So even consider this for a filling weeknight dinner!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 lbs pork chops
  • 4 strips of bacon, grease reserved
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz can of tomatoes (w/ onion, celery & bell pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk (*you can use all milk instead of chicken stock if desired)
  • 1/2 chicken stock 
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil  

Begin this recipe by liberally seasoning the pork chops with a bit of oil and the paprika, salt & pepper and set aside. 

 In a large heavy-bottomed-pot or pan, begin to cook the bacon over medium heat till just crisp.  Remove the cooked bacon to a paper towel lined sheet while reserving the bacon grease.   Next, to that grease, add in the 1 tbsp of butter, the onions and cook till slightly translucent and then add in the garlic. 

   Turn the heat down to medium-low and follow this up by sprinkling the flour over the onion/garlic mixture and stirring to make a rue.  Slowly pour in the milk (& chicken stock if using) while stirring continuously.  Get those flour lumps out!   Finally add in the can of tomatoes (with juice) and brown sugar.  Bring to a low boil and then down to a simmer, stirring occasionally. 

    

I wanted to mash up my tomatoes just a bit here..

 If you’re really good at multitasking, while you’re making the above Bacon Tomato Gravy,  have another pan set on medium-high heat with a tbsp of oil in it.  Once hot add in the pork chops (2-3 at a time/don’t overcrowd pan) and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side.  Immediately after each pork chop has been seared, add straight to the gravy, cover, and let simmer for 20-25 minutes to cook through. 

   *During the simmering of the pork chops, I like to complete my side dishes, which are typically fresh, sautéed vegetables and mashed potatoes.

Time’s up!!  Spoon a good amount of mashed potatoes onto a plate and place a juicy pork chop on top.  Ladle that warm Southern Bacon Tomato Gravy over the chop & potatoes and top with the reserved bacon and some parsely…just don’t forget the veggies!!  Enjoy! 

 

Braised Short Rib Poutine

This may have a hoighty-toighty, fancy name but it’s just a big ol bowl of delicious cheesy, brown gravy fries!  This comfort food is soooo good on a cold day, while watching a fantastic football game or even after a late night.  The Dutch oven does most of the work for you, and if you’re not into it, go ahead and buy a bag of frozen fries.  I won’t tell 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 2lbs Short Ribs (1/2 boneless, 1/2 bone in)
  • Potatoes, french fry cut and soaked a couple hours to overnight
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbsp  
  •  1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 cups beef broth/stock (to cover about 3/4th way up the short ribs), water can also be substituted 
  • 1/2 stout beer (drink the rest 😉)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • Cheese curds (Wisconsin’s finest 😉 
  • Kosher salt & ground pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil (for ribs)
  • Canola oil (for potatoes)
  • Parsely garnish (optional)   

Begin this recipe for scrubbing the potatoes and carefully cutting into strips a la French Fry!  Put the cut up fries into a large bowl of cold water.  Once you have finished cutting all of the potatoes, I like to carefully pour out that starchy water (hold on to those potatoes now) and refill.  Cover and refridgerate for at least an hour or two or even overnight.  This helps to pull out the starch resulting in a crispier fry!  Mmmm….. 

   On to the short ribs.  Season the ribs liberally with kosher salt and pepper and have a large pot/dutch oven warming a couple of Tbsp’s of extra virgin olive oil to medium-high heat.  Place 3-4 short ribs at a time into the hot pot and sear each side.  Set the seared ribs aside once finished. 

     In that same pot that you seared the short ribs in (now turn down to medium), add in the onion & shallot and sauté till translucent (about 5 minutes).  Next add in the minced garlic, worcestershire and the tomato paste (cook for just about a minute, till fragrant). 

  

  


 Now we’ll pour in half of the beer (make sure to finish the rest, “waste not, want not”..or something like that).  When the beer is added you’ll hear quite the sizzle sound, and with a wooden spoon scrape up any brown bits on the bottom on the pot from the seared and sautéed ingredients.

Next, pour in the beef stock/or water along with a hefty pinch of salt & pepper.  Turn the heat down to low and add back in the seared short ribs and any juices that the short ribs gave off in their set aside dish.  Cover the dutch oven and let it do its thing for about 3 hours.  Those ribs will be fall apart tender and falling off the bone, literally. 

 

Once the time has come, remove the short ribs again and set aside.

Here you’ll also bring a seperate saute pan to medium to melt the butter.  Once melted, slowly add in the flour while constantly whisking to make a roux.  Once that flour taste has cooked out, whisk the roux directly into the ribs braising liquid (dutch oven), until it thickens to a gravy, whisking occasionally.  It’ll happen, just give it a few minutes. 

       By now the short ribs should have cooled down enough to handle.  Pull off the bones, remove as much fat as possible and shred.  Add the now shredded meat directly into the dutch oven gravy.  Lord have mercy! 

   While those flavors are melding together and the gravy is thickening up, we’ll finish the French fries.

Take the soaking potatoes out of the ‘fridge and drain that starch water.  Place the cut up fries onto a towel and pat dry as much as possible.  Water drenched foods and hot oil do NOT mix. Never ever.

Bring the canola oil up to heat 375 degrees (I used my deep fryer), and add the fries in batches cooking for about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and turn up the heat to 425 degrees.  Again, in small batches add the fries to cook for another 3-4 minutes and transfer to a large bowl and toss with a pinch of salt. 

 Assembly time!!  Your stomach is growling isn’t it??  Place a good amount of those hot, crisp fries onto a plate and ladle that hot, short rib gravy right over top.  Sprinkle on a handful of those delightful, squeaky cheese curds and grab a fork, dinner is served!! 

 

Breakfast Fries

After every fun holiday-party-weekend, you may need a ‘feel better’ breakfast.  I know that we often do and I have just the thing for you too!  This is actually quite easy considering you’re using frozen fries instead of making biscuits!  Heck, as gluttonous as this may look, it may just be healthier for you too…it’s what I tell myself at least! 😉

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 bag frozen French fries (I prefer steak fry cut)
  • 1lb sausage
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • Season Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter   

Preheat your oven to the french fry package directions and get a baking sheet prepped.
Next, warm the butter in your pan and then add in all of the sausage.  Cook the breakfast sausage on medium until it’s no longer pink.  If you don’t feel too hot now, you definitely don’t want to know what it’s like after you eat undercooked pork.  Bleh. 

 After the sausage is cooked through, sprinkle in the flour directly onto the meat.  *I know, I know, traditionally you remove the meat, but I find this step unnecessary..Give this a good stir to coat all of the sausage in the flour.  You’ll immediately start to see it thicken up. 

 Next add in the milk while, again, stirring to incorporate everything.  Turn down to medium low while giving the gravy an occasional stir.  Please give a few tastes at this point and season as you like.  I prefer a pinch of season salt and a heavy hand with the pepper. 

 While the sausage gravy is simmering away, place your French fries in the oven and allow to cook as directed.  The 20+ minutes your fries are in the oven is perfect due to the gravy needing to cook that flour out while it’s simmering.  Remember to keep stirring ever so often and feel free to add a bit more milk (a little at a time) if it seems too thick for your liking. 

   Once the fries are hot and crisp, serve on a plate with a big ladle full of gravy!! (and perhaps an egg or two on the side;)) 

 

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