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Milk Gravy

Makes about 1-1/2 cups

Milk gravy is used in more presentations than you might realize. It is the gravy most often made with southern fried chicken. It is the base for the sauce in biscuits with sausage gravy. It is the gravy in creamed or chipped dried beef. In Pennsylvania Dutch country it is very popular with other meats, most notably fried sausage, as in the similar and related recipes links. My grandparents made milk gravy for lunch and just added cubed bread to it. I never cared for it that way, but my mother loved it.

Milk gravy is made by starting with a roux, a mixture of fat and flour. If you are serving milk gravy with fried or sautéed meat, use that frying pan, taking advantage of the fat and browned bits in the bottom of the pan for incorporating lots of flavor. Milk gravy is not for the health conscious, but it sure is good now and then. The recipe can be made in amount needed.

Ingredients

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and heat slightly. (If using a pan in which meat was prepared, remove the meat, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and continue.) Add the flour and whisk vigorously to combine with the oil, making a roux. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to stir until the flour mixture is well blended, about 5 minutes. For more flavor, continue to cook until the mixture turns a light golden color, about another 5 minutes. (Cooking longer is not neessary, especially if you want a white gravy.) Gradually add the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, whisking vigorously to combine with the roux before adding more. Reduce heat if it is cooking too fast. Continue to gradually add the milk until the desired thickness, keeping in mind it will thicken more as it cooks. Taste for seasoning. If you cannot use the gravy immediately, remove from heat. Return to a medium heat and whisk in some more milk as needed when ready to use.

Notes: I know some people who like milk gravy so thick it barely drips off the spoon. Others like it very thin. I prefer something between the two. Herbs and spices can be added, especially those to complement the dish. A pinch of nutmeg is very good with most preparations.