The summer before 8th grade my family drove to South Dakota and did all the touristy things. This meant a lot of eating out, and at many of the breakfast places they had biscuits and gravy. This was the first time I’d ever seen the dish, and as it looks rather gelatinous and bubbly, (think The Blob) when kept in a warming pan, I avoided it. And a bit more than a year later I became a vegetarian, so I never tried it.
Fast forward many years and my best friend learned how to make vegetarian biscuits and gravy while gutting houses in New Orleans, and then made them for me. (She actually learned how to make vegan biscuits and gravy, but we make it vegetarian as we don’t keep soy milk around the house). And guess what—Biscuits and Gravy are delicious! It made me regret spurning the dish so many years ago.
Since then, while living in various group housing situations my best friend and I have made this recipe for whoever wanted it, and not only did the vegetarians find it tasty, but many meat eaters have declared it to be better than gravy made with real sausage! Since vegetarian sausage has a LOT less fat than real sausage, this gravy is less heavy than traditional gravy which, (I’m told) can make your stomach feel like it’s full of rocks. So even if you’re a die-hard carnivore I suggest trying this recipe, if nothing else, you’ll be able to eat more gravy.
Get a pastry cutter – you can use two forks to cut in shortening, but you’re more likely to overwork the dough = less tasty biscuits.
Place biscuits close together (or touching) on your cookie-sheet. This will ensure that the sides remain soft and don’t dry out.
I suggest using McCormick Grill Mates: Montreal Steak, and this is one case where I don’t recommend a substitute. I’ve tried a couple different things, and my best friend has tried several, but this one is the clear winner in flavor.
Make it Vegan: Use shortening and soy milk in place of butter and milk.
I make the classic Clabber Girl baking powder biscuit recipe that’s on the back of every can of Clabber Girl (unless you get the weird cake recipe). It’s also available on their website. Whatever biscuit recipe you like will work as well, or even prepackaged biscuits.
3 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Flour
2 cups Milk
3 ounces (2 MorningStar patties) vegetarian sausage
1-2 tsp McCormick Grill Mates: Montreal Steak Seasoning
Make a roux: melt the butter in a pot over medium heat, add the flour and cook, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes.
Pour the milk into the pot, whisking to completely incorporate the roux. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened.
Make the biscuits using your preferred recipe. Knead the dough just enough to make sure it’s all incorporated and pat it out until it’s 1/2 an inch thick. Using a biscuit-cutter or a glass cut out the biscuits, making each one is as close to the others as possible – you want to minimize the number of times you need to re-roll the dough as that will lead to tougher biscuits. I make tiny biscuits (as you can see in the pictures) using a shot-glass to cut them out. There is no reason behind this, I just like to. Bake the biscuits.
If you’re using frozen sausage, microwave it for 30 seconds to soften it up. Take the sausage and crumble it into small bits.
Stir the sausage into the gravy. Add a teaspoon of the steak seasoning, taste the gravy and add more if needed.
To serve, break the biscuits in half and spoon gravy over the top.