Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Taste Of East Tennessee for our Wine Club - Part 2

In my last post, I discussed the September meeting of our wine club with the theme of “Food and Wine from East Tennessee” where each couple brought a bottle of wine from our area for the tasting and a small plate dish from this area or the southern mountains. 

Our selections were wild boar sausage gravy with buttermilk biscuits and a peach wine from Chestnut Hill Winery in Crossville. 

They make three dry, two semi-sweet grape wines and six sweet fruity wines.  This is the description for ours.  “Volunteer Peach: Made from a blend of several different wines with the natural peach flavoring added.  Enjoy the fresh peach aroma before you refresh your palate with this with wine.  Enjoyed as a social drink or after dinner.  Try pouring some over vanilla ice cream and you will find the taste will be amazing.”

While Bev is a regular bread maker, we generally use Pillsbury frozen biscuits, so she doesn’t have a lot of experience or a go-to recipe.  But since we wanted smaller than normal size biscuits and a homemade version, we both set off in search of recipes with the first three, including angel biscuits, all judged to be just okay.  

One recipe that we both thought looked good was from Angela Roberts over at her Spinach Tiger blog titled My Best Homemade Fluffy Southern Biscuits for My Southern Husband.  Rather than copy the recipe here, I’ll just refer you to her site for the recipe and some delicious looking shots, but mention the changes Bev made:  She used a little more buttermilk to get the dough to come together and she patted out the dough to a thinner ¾“.

We served them home style - stacked high on a plate.

The search is over and we now have a go-to recipe for scratch biscuits and they met all of my criteria – good flavor, light and flakey, split a little when baked.  Since they are far from diet food and we usually have them with something even more fattening, we rarely eat biscuits so it was great having them four mornings in a row as Bev tried different recipes and we have a bunch in the freezer as well.

For the sausage gravy, I used my normal cooking method:

1. Fry and break apart two pounds of sausage.
2, Move the meat to one side and tilt the pan to the other for a couple of minutes to estimate the amount of fat.
3. Re mix the meat and fat, sprinkle 1 Tbsp. of AP flour per Tbsp. of fat plus one more over the meat and cook for a few minutes, stirring often.  I never used to measure anything for this until I learned about the fat/flour/liquid ratio.  For this I used 6 Tbsp. of flour and 6 cups of whole milk.

Slowly and constantly stir in room temperature milk (about a cup per Tbsp, of flour used) to get the desired consistency.  I added about a cup for each of the first four times then the final two cups.  I had a little fat floating on top and sprinkled a little flour on top, whisk just that area and it took care of it.  This is after the second, fourth, and last milk additions.

One small confession – I didn’t really use wild boar but I did use Swaggerty’s sausage from nearby Sevierville, which is one of several sausage makers in the area and our favorite.

The normal gravy around here in restaurants is a white pasty concoction with a little bit of sausage flavor and meat, but mine is how Dad taught me to make it – I could have probably made a few gallons of the local version with this amount of sausage.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


9/29 & 10/2/14 dates


  1. Sausage and gravy are a classic and yours definitely sounds good. See if your library has a little book called "Biscuits." The author is Brenda Ellis and it's part of a series called "A savor of the South. In it contains Allen Benton's wife's biscuit recipe. She uses a buttermilk only found in your neck of the woods. I am not a biscuit maker, but I am very tempted the next time we are over your way to buy some of the buttermilk and try her recipe. Since we won't be that way until sometime next summer, maybe you can find the book and Bev can give her biscuit recipe a try. Or better still, ask her in person for the recipe.

  2. Looks pretty tasty maybe I would even try it. Have tried it a few times , but not something I really enjoy.

  3. I have to admit, I make a mean white gravy. It was one of the first things I ever learned to cook using drippings from fried chicken. So, I can also make a good sausage gravy. I remember those fried chicken dinners with mashed potatoes and we'd also take a piece of white bread and smother it with gravy. It's good stuff.

  4. Larry, Laurie and I are 'off' the sweet wines produced here in East Tennessee... However, give us those biscuits with that great sausage gravy and we're happy campers indeed! I'd side them with a couple of over-easy eggs and a bunch of Tabasco and my morning would be perfect... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  5. Great looking biscuits and gravy and the peach wine over ice cream sounds delicious!

  6. Oh My Gosh... I'd love your biscuits and gravy... George would REALLY love them. I try to stay away from those kinds of foods (because of my weight of course) --but OH--how I'd love them, even a bite...

  7. The biscuits and gravy look great. ~ Catherine

  8. Thank you so much for using my biscuit recipe. I'm so glad you enjoyed and yes, sometimes you do need to add more buttermilk. Glad you realized it's that kind of recipe. Your sausage gravy looks divine and I've book marked it for the future.

  9. I LOVE a good biscuit and gravy and yours looks mouth watering and incredible!!!

  10. David has just learned to make sausage gravy and is loving it. Yours looks great Larry. David has been using Ingles' Maple flavored sausage and we think it is great. Lately we have been using Mary B's frozen biscuits when I am too lazy to make my own. You had a great party. All of that food looked delicious.

  11. Biscuits and gravy…a real treat. I keep trying to comment, hopefully this goes through.

  12. Homemade biscuits and gravy - hard to beat that, you're making me wish I had some sausage in the fridge right now. The only thawed sausage I have is chorizo and I can't imagine that would be good for this lol.


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