Sausage gravy

Any cuisine that will put marshmallows on top of sweet potatoes is in serious trouble, but even so southern cooking does have some wonderful dishes. One of my favorites is sausage gravy, served for breakfast over freshly baked buttermilk biscuits. You probably will not want lunch after this! The recipe serves 4 generously, or 8 as part of a larger breakfast. It may be halved.

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1/3 c minced onion
6 TB flour
3-4 c hot milk
Black pepper, freshly ground–a lot, maybe 1 TB
1 TB butter (optional)
Big pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
Salt as needed

Sauté the sausage and onion together, breaking up the sausage into small bits, until the onion is clear and the sausage is cooked. If there is a lot of fat that has rendered, remove all but 3-4 TB. If you want the butter flavor, add it now. Sprinkle the flour over the sausage and onions and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Stir in 3c of the milk, half the black pepper, and the red pepper (if you are using it), and cook, stirring, until thickened. Add additional milk as needed to get the desired consistency. Add remaining black pepper and salt to taste and simmer for another minute to meld the flavors.

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