Last night we had Breakfast for dinner. I know to some of you out there this may seem strange or out of the ordinary, but growing up my mom used to make Breakfast for Dinner all the time and we loved it as kids. Come to find out so does my family it really makes a easy night for me. I try to make breakfast at least twice a month. We love sausage gravy but Milk Gravy with Bacon is such a nice change. I learned how to make bacon gravy years ago from my grandmother by marriage. Goodness that was about 20 yers ago. She really knew how to cook all those great southern meals from scratch.
I loved to watch her cook, she never measured anything but I caught on very fast. I was so proud the first time I made bacon gravy all by myself. I have since remarried and grandmother has passed one, but her gravy holds a special place in my heart. I still cherish the times I spent in the kitchen cooking and learning the wisdom she had in the kitchen. It is something I will never forget. This recipe is pretty easy to make, it might take a bit of practice to get it down just right, but you will get it. Everytime I make this gravy it reminds me of her.
To start you need bacon grease. Either from frying up some bacon or using your reserved stock of grease. Every great southerner has a jar of reserved of bacon grease in the fridge. I know I do. Start by heating the reserved bacon grease in skillet and stir in the flour. Continue stirring until the flour absorbs all of the fat. Add the salt and black pepper. Start out with the smaller amount of pepper and add more later if desired.
Slowly stir in the milk a little at a time. Use a whisk or a fork to prevent lumps. Continue adding milk and whisking or stirring at the same time until the milk is added to the gravy. Let the mixture come to a boil. Allow it to boil gently for about 5 minutes. It will thicken nicely. Taste the gravy and see if you need to add any additional salt and pepper.
Bacon, cut into small pieces, bacon slices OR 1/4 cup bacon grease
(see note below)
1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (to taste)
3 cups milk (I use half Milk and half Water)
It all starts with bacon of course. You can cut the bacon into small pieces, but my family doesn't like the bacon pieces in the gravy they like more of a smooth gravy instead and bacon on the side. Put bacon into a large skillet and fry it over medium heat. Or if your like me it's so much easier to cook the bacon in the oven. I cook mine at 350 degrees on a foil lined baking sheet. Turn bacon once or twice as the bacon cooks it will release it's fat. When the bacon is done remove and drain on paper towels. Pour about 1/4 cup of the bacon grease from the baking sheet into a skillet. Heat the reserved bacon grease in skillet and stir in the flour. Continue stirring until the flour absorbs all of the fat. Add the salt and black pepper.Start out with the smaller amount of pepper and add more later if desired. Slowly stir in the milk a little at a time. Use a whisk or a fork to prevent lumps. Continue adding milk and whisking or stirring at the same time until the milk is added to the gravy. Let the mixture come to a boil. Allow it to boil gently for about 5 minutes. It will thicken nicely. Taste the gravy and see if you need to add any additional salt and pepper. Serve over toast or biscuits. My family prefers biscuit, and yes as you can see in the picture I do cheat and use Pillsbury Grands Biscuits. Funny thing is i can make homemade gravy but i stink at making homemade biscuits. Maybe one day i will get it down until then these will do just fine.
NOTE: Essentially, bacon grease is the fat left in the pan after frying bacon. It is best stored in a clean jar in the refrigerator. Every time bacon is cooked, pour any leftover grease into the jar. It is used mostly for frying and seasoning. Bacon Fat lends a very special flavor to food that is hard to duplicate. *If you don't have bacon, but you do have bacon grease, then use 1/4 cup of bacon grease instead of the bacon. Heat it in the skillet until it is bubbly. Stir in the flour and proceed as directed.
I am happy to say since I have made this post I can finally bake homemade buttermilk biscuits. That is quite a accomplishment for me.