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Black Pepper Biscuits and Creamy Gravy Casserole

Here’s a classic diner breakfast easy to make at home! Using a one-pot recipe, Chef Emily Ellyn makes fluffy ricotta drop biscuits over hearty and cheesy sausage gravy, and then adds a pinch of chili powder for a subtle kick. Top it all with an over easy egg and you’ve got the perfect punctuation for a hearty weekend breakfast or brunch.

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 8 – 10

Yield: 12-inch oven safe sauté pan or three 6-inch oven safe pans

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Ingredients

Biscuits:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/3 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese - plus extra for topping casserole
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper - plus more for finishing biscuits

Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (1 small) onion chopped
  • 1 pound ground breakfast sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or substitute paprika for a milder version
  • ½ teaspoon dried mustard
  • 2 ¼ cups whole milk - plus extra for finishing biscuits
  • 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese

Directions

Place the rack into the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F.

Biscuits:  In a large bowl, sift 1¾ cups flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add 8 tablespoons of butter cut into ½ inch pieces by rubbing between fingertips into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal.  With hands, fold in 1 egg, 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, 1/3 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese, and ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper.  Fold until just combined.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat into a 1-inch thick rectangle.  Fold the dough in half, turn it 90 degrees and pat into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Repeat the process 4 more times, flouring your work surface as necessary to prevent sticking.

Cut out biscuits with a 2 ½ inch round biscuit cutter and transfer to baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Reserve to side.

Gravy:  Place 3 tablespoons butter in a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. When it begins to melt, add the chopped onions and cook until onions are translucent, 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add breakfast sausage and garlic.  Cook, breaking sausage up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink and is starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Sprinkle with ¼ cup flour and stir until flour evenly coats and becomes stirred into meat.  Pour in stock, Worcestershire sauce, ½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, chili powder, and dried mustard.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the stock starts to bubble and thicken, about 2 minutes.

Gradually stir in 2 ¼ cups milk and 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese, scraping sides and bottom of pan.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Continue simmering, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 1 minute more (the gravy will continue to thicken as it cooks in the oven).

Finally, top the sausage gravy with un-cooked biscuits leaving at least an 1/8-inch around the edge of pan and between biscuits.  (If you have extra biscuits, bake on parchment-lined sheet tray for 16-20 minutes).  Brush tops of biscuits with milk and sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper.  Finish with a sprinkle of Shredded Parmesan Cheese.

Place in oven and bake until the biscuits have risen and are golden brown on top, about 16 – 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. During this time, you can fry an egg to serve on top.  Enjoy!

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