Southern-style biscuits with sawmill gravy

Scone-like buttermilk biscuits smothered in sausage gravy is a breakfast favourite in the American South. Traditionally the gravy, similar to a white sauce, is made with breakfast sausage - always pork and formed into patties - while the biscuits are often shortened with lard. It's rich and tasty dish, and would be great with a fried egg or Southern-style fried chicken. We've included a recipe for lard - you really can't beat freshly made - but butter works perfectly in the biscuits and gravy.

You'll need

60 gm lard or butter 4 pork sausages (about 480gm), removed from casing and coarsely crumbled 30 gm plain flour 700 ml milk Melted butter, for brushing Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley and hot sauce, to serve   Lard 500 gm pork back-fat, diced (see note)   Buttermilk biscuits 320 gm self-raising flour 50 gm lard 240 ml buttermilk Melted butter, for brushing


  • 01
  • To make lard, combine fat and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir occasionally, adding extra water to pan if fat starts to brown (be careful, hot fat may spit) until fat renders (1-1½ hours). Strain through a metal sieve and discard crackled fat. Cool and store in a sterilised jar. You should have about 300ml. Lard will keep refrigerated for up to a month.
  • 02
  • For buttermilk biscuits, preheat oven to 200C, and combine flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Rub in 50gm cooled lard with your fingertips, then make a well in the centre and stir in buttermilk until almost combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead to bring dough together; don’t overwork or the air will be knocked out and they’ll be tough. Roll out to 1cm thick, then cut out rounds with a 4.5cm-5cm cutter and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush tops with melted butter and bake until golden (10-12 minutes). Keep warm.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp lard in a large frying pan over high heat, add sausage and fry until browned and crisp on the edges (5-6 minutes). The sausage might stick a bit, which is fine for flavour – just don’t let it burn. Set sausage aside and add remaining lard or butter to the pan. When it starts to sizzle add flour and stir until it turns sand-coloured (2-3 minutes). Gradually add milk, stirring well between additions, and continue stirring until smooth (5 minutes). Season to taste, scatter with parsley and serve warm with biscuits.

At A Glance

  • Serves 13 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 13 people

Additional Notes

Pork back-fat needs to be ordered ahead from the butcher.

Drink Suggestion

A restorative shot of bourbon

Featured in

June 2017

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