Saturday, February 11, 2012

Miracle Mushroom Gravy over 3-2-1 Drop Biscuits

I worked at Mickey D's for a while when I was a teenager. It was my first job apart from working for my dad at the paint store. I was vegetarian as I am now, and I was a manager -- that's right, a teenage manager -- at the world's largest fast-food corporation. I still have the spatula I received upon my graduation from their esteemed and highly-competitive Hamburger University. 

Anyway, any vegetarians or vegans that came through on my shift got the royal treatment for sure: a veggie big mac with tons of toppings and cheese and a bag of fries; at breakfast, I'd make our biscuit and sausage gravy special for them without the sausage added into it. I just wanted them to know that someone out there had their back.

In honor of my time in the service, I made this wonderful gravy that has all the flavor of a sausage gravy with none of the sausage. I use meaty crimini mushrooms and the seasoning you'd normally find in a flavorful breakfast sausage to make this Southern breakfast staple. It's so good you'll be looking for other things to gravy.

Miracle Mushroom Gravy

10 oz crimini (a.k.a. baby bella) mushrooms
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup shallot
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
scant 1/8 teaspoon clove
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk

Slice mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick.; you will blend them later so no need to be overly precise. In a medium frying pan over hight heat, sauté the mushrooms until browned. Add the shallot to the pan and continue to cook for another minute until the rawness has cooked out of the shallot and it's translucent. 

Add the mushrooms and shallot  to the work bowl of your food processor along with the sage, red pepper flakes, clove, soy sauce, and maple syrup. In the same pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk mixture until fragrant (about five minutes.) Whisk in the whole milk and heat mixture until slightly thick. Add milk mixture to the food processor that contains the mushroom mixture. Pulse until mushrooms are finely chopped and well incorporated into the milk, but leave some chunkiness for a nice texture. Return the whole thing to the pan and keep warm until ready to serve. If gets too thick, add some milk or stock to thin it out.

3-2-1 Drop Biscuits
3 tablespoons baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup 2% milk (more if mixture looks dry)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening using your fingers until pieces are no larger than a pea. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the milk. Using a rubber spatula, fold the milk into the dry ingredients -- but use as few strokes as possible. The less you stir the dough, the more tender your biscuits will be.
Using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop up a 1/4-cup portion of dough and drop it onto a parchment or silpat-lined baking sheet. Repeat until all dough has been used. (You should get about a dozen biscuits from this recipe.) Be sure to leave an inch or so between each biscuit, but don't be too particular about their shape -- drop biscuits are supposed to be rustic. Bake for 15 minutes or until the craggy edges are brown and crispy.

To serve, just split a biscuit and douse it with gravy. Garnish with a pinch of smoked paprika. It's perfect along with soft scrambled eggs.

* reduced amount of clove 2/20


  1. Would love to try this one out. Might not be until the weekend though.

  2. That's Fine. It makes a great weekend breakfast!

  3. That was exactly what I was thinking.

  4. OK, that was fantastic! I have never had the sausage gravy and biscuits before, it isn't something that you find around here very often so I had no reference point for this dish. I am also admitting to never having baked biscuits before and you will see why.

    On to the comments.

    1. Small thing, the canola oil in the ingredient list isn't mentioned in the instructions. I am assuming it was for sauteing the mushrooms, as that makes sense, but it just wasn't written.

    2. The biscuits. I have already mentions that I have never made biscuits before so I felt a little lost. What would have really helped would be a description of the consistency of the dough. When you said "if mixture is too dry" I had no reference point. I didn't know what was too dry or too wet. In the end, I added extra milk and they turned out really well, but they still could have used a bit more milk, I think. Anyways just a bit more guidance on that front would have been welcome.

    3. This may be a preference thing, but I found that there was too much clove. Now, because you listed it at 1/4 teaspoon I assumed you meant ground and not whole. But in the end, the clove just over powered the rest of the ingredients. Next time I will take it back by half. It is a great combination of flavours, but the clove just dominated. The sausage around here doesn't have that combination so I don't have anything to compare it against. Again, that may be our personal taste.

    Other than that, these were fantastic and I will probably be making them again at Easter when the family is visiting. I really like the flavour combination. I served it with a little cheddar cheese scrambled egg per your recommendation.


  5. I was thinking the same thing about the clove, so I'm glad you mentioned it. Thank you so much for doing this! Good catch on the oil. I will make those changes. We couldn't do this without your input. We really appreciate it.