As is the case with most of my creations, this dish is inspired by another that I’ve tasted. I was very impressed with The Pulled Mushroom Gravy and Biscuits from The Grange in Providence, Rhode Island (my old stomping grounds) and decided to replicate it. Like, they’re so good that the last time I went there and they happened to be out, I had to leave. HOW COULD THE DO THIS TO ME?! Fair play to them, good food sells out the quickest. So I should have just gotten there earlier. But STILL! If you haven’t picked up on this yet, Providence has great food. Definitely make a trip out there. You won’t be disappointed.
Obviously I decided to take a bit of a different route, and instead of the mushroom gravy, to go with a creamy sausage gravy to make it more “authentically Southern”. Now ideally, we would begin this dish with some homemade vegan sausage. I was trying to busily get my house ready for my English counterpart to arrive so I didn’t get around to it. But it’s still magical trust me! There are many great vegan sausages. I personally love anything from Gardein, but Qcorn and sometimes Morning Star make some incredible products as well. (Careful with Morning Star though, it’s not always totally vegan).
First things first, we need to make the biscuits. If you’re anything like me, as soon as doughs and baking are brought into the picture I start to get a bit nervous. I’m just not a pastry person. But I am a hungry person, so I do what I can to satisfy my cravings. And luckily these biscuits are super duper easy to make. You are going to need: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, vinegar, non-dairy milk such as almond, and non-dairy butter such as Earth Balance.
Next, in a small separate bowl, combine the vinegar with the almond milk and allow it to curdle. This will give you that buttermilk taste.
In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. (Sifting isn’t totally necessary but if you have one on hand, why not?) Then, cut up the butter into small chunks (squares, whatever man) and cut them into the dry ingredients. You want to work the butter into the dough so that it is fully incorporated and crumbly, like little peas. Then you’ll add your curdled milk. (Curdled, yerrrmmmm) and mix until the dough starts to form a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough or handle it too much! (The heat from your hands will melt the butter, we want it to be cold for a flakier biscuit!)
On a lightly floured surface, dump out the dough and need it just a touch, and then flatten it out. You could use a rolling pin for this, I wouldn’t recommend it. Overhandling and all that jazz. You want it to be 1” thick. Then, using a round biscuit cutter, start cutting. Lay the biscuits out on a lined and greased baking sheet. Mix a touch of oil with some almond milk, and brush the biscuits with the mixture.
Pop those babies in the oven and let them bake for 20 minutes or so. Until they start to look golden brown. If you like them to be a bit lighter, then don’t let them get brown. They tend to be softer this way as well.
While they’re baking you’re going to make your gravy! Yewww!!! Jumping on the Gravy Train to Yum Town! For the first step, sauté your sausage. I like to add a bit of water to the pan first, to hydrate the sausage in case it’s been frozen. And once the water evaporates, add a bit of oil. At this point the sausage should be soft, so break it up with your spatula or mixing spoon into little bits. And sauté those bits until brown. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.
Next, we are going to make a Roux. You may remember this if you tried the Etouffe. It’s super simple! Just equal parts flour and fat (Earth Balance or oil), and sauté it until it becomes dark brown and gives off a nutty aroma. You’re going to do this in the same pan that you sauted the sausage, so that the gravy takes on a bit of that flavor. It’ll take a few minutes to brown, so gather the remaining ingredients as you wait. The only other things you need are non-dairy milk and black pepper. I used cashew milk, but this proved to be a bit overpowering. I would go with almond in the future. Add a little bit of the milk to the roux to temper it a bit. It will immediately bubble and thicken. Then slowly whisk in the remaining milk. Remove the mixture from the heat and continue to mix. Add the sausage and the black pepper. Or add (shudders) white pepper if you prefer your food to taste like a barn yard. No offense, I just really hate white pepper with immeasurable loathing. It’s just one of those things.
By now your biscuits should be done. So lay them out on a plate, and smother them in gravy. Add any other little toppings you might want to add and dig in! Hopefully you don’t have any plans because this will put you in a food coma.
Vegan Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup Earth Balance (or other non-dairy butter)
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp Earth Balance
2 cups almond milk
1 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Mix vinegar with almond milk, set aside to allow it to “curdle” to give you that buttermilk taste.
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Cut butter into small squares, and cut into the flour mixture. The mixture should be crumbly and look like little peas. Be careful not to over-mix or over-handle.
- Stir in the almond milk, work the dough into a ball.
- Lightly flour a flat surface, transmit the dough and knead briefly on the floured surface.
- Roll or smooth out the dough so that it is 1″ thick.
- Use a circle or biscuit cutter to cut the dough into little circles.
- Lay the biscuits on a lined, greased baking sheet.
- Mix some almond milk and oil/butter together.
- Brush the biscuits with the mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- For the gravy, in a large skillet, saute the vegan sausage into little crumbly and crispy bits. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Using the same pan, combine the flour with the Earth Balance, and allow to cook on low until the mixture becomes dark brown and nutty.
- Add the black pepper, stir a bit more.
- Slowly add a small amount of almond milk to allow the roux to temper. Then slowly whisk in the remaining milk, and remove the mixture from the heat.
- Stir in the sausage.
- Serve over the gravy over the biscuits, and get your munch on!