For Father's Day, I almost always make Paul biscuits, sausage gravy, and eggs. It is not only his favorite breakfast, but probably one of his favorite meals overall. Personally, I don't get it. I love biscuits, I love gravy, but I'm not really wild about pouring a whole mess of sloppy sausage gravy over my biscuits and making them soggy. However, I have to admit that since marrying Paul the whole concept has really grown on me. It is certainly a very homey, comforting dish. I appreciate how easy it is to make. I love recipes that are quick, easy, and guaranteed to please the wonderful husband who gladly puts up with eating my frou-frou food 90% of the time.
I made fresh biscuits to go with the sausage gravy and eggs on Father's Day but, as usual, I made way too much gravy. The biscuits and eggs were all gobbled up and I still had about two cups of delicious sausage gravy. Feeling lazy and not wanting that good stuff to go to waste, I made breakfast for dinner and "reinvented" our biscuits and gravy into a casserole form. Basically, I was looking for a way to avoid making fresh biscuits all over again. I'll pull the baby card once more and blame Lucy for my lack of motivation in the kitchen recently.
So here's the deal with this casserole. You can throw it together in about the amount of time it takes your oven to preheat. It uses refrigerated biscuit dough, but I imagine you could also make fresh biscuit dough. However, that would definitely take away from the ease factor and, in my opinion, you might as well make traditional biscuits and gravy.
Anyway, after about five minutes of prep and 30-40 minutes of baking time, you have a delicious breakfast casserole that should appeal to just about everyone. Our entire family loved it - there were absolutely no complaints from the kids whereas the same gravy concoction, when eaten in deconstructed form the day before, spawned an entire symphony of "yuck" "eww" and "I won't eat that bad sauce stuff." This is probably one of only two meals we have had recently where some coaxing was not required to try to get the kids to eat everything on their plate. The other meal is smoked salmon with oranges and arugula. Yes, I know. We have trouble getting our kids to eat homemade cheeseburgers, string cheese, and apple pie, but smoked fish they go for. Our kids are weird.
A side salad of arugula, toasted pecans, blueberries, and cilantro-lime vinaigrette rounded out the meal. Delicious.
I will definitely be making this recipe again. It is a great way to use up leftover sausage gravy, but honestly is also a fantastic dish to make on it's own. I could see this being a great casserole to make on Christmas morning. I suggested that to Paul and his face lit up. I have a feeling that's probably what we'll end up doing this year.
Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast Bake
adapted from Just a Pinch
For the Sausage Gravy:
1 pound hot breakfast sausage
1/3 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (add to taste)
For the Breakfast Bake:
12 ounces biscuit dough (or 1 can Pillsbury Grands! biscuits)
1/2 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the sausage gravy, brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and add in half of the 1/3 cup of flour and stir until it is completely absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue to stir for another minute or two until completely cooked. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. When all the milk is added, switch over to a whisk and stir/scrape the pot continuously for another 2-3 minutes.
Cook the gravy, stirring frequently, until it thickens. This usually takes a while, around 15 minutes or so. Be patient! Once the gravy is thick, add in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Set aside until ready to use or let it cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for a few days.
To make the breakfast bake, break the biscuit dough into 1-inch pieces and scatter over the bottom of a 13x9 glass baking pan. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the dough. Whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper and then pour over the biscuits. Dot 2-3 cups of the sausage gravy over the entire top. Slide into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown, puffed, and cooked all the way through. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.