Inspired by a dish that I once had at Skillet Diner in Capitol Hill in Seattle, this recipe for biscuits with sweet potato, sausage, and sage gravy incorporates diced sautéed sweet potato into the gravy to add some extra color and flavor to this decadent brunch classic.
The first time I had biscuits with sweet potato, sausage, and sage gravy…
I was meeting a friend and her fiancé there for a double brunch date and though we had arrived at what felt like the earliest time ever to be getting brunch (I think it was really only 9am though and I was hung over), we still had to wait nearly an hour to get a table that this new hot foodie spot in Seattle. As we sipped the too-weak-for-me drip coffee that was passed around to those of us waiting patiently outside, I hoped that this food was worth this less-than-ideal cup of coffee and my ass falling asleep on the concrete planter I was perched on outside the window. My friend and her fiancé assured me the food was incredible as we peered towards the hostess stand as if somehow that would hasten our wait.
Finally, we were seated in 4-top near the front of the restaurant and as I reviewed the menu my eyes stopped on the biscuits and gravy. My butt was still regaining feeling and by this time I was a level of hangry I was likely not hiding well. This seemed hearty enough to warm me up (and my disposition), and the mention of sweet potato in the gravy sounded really interesting compared to the normal grey-white slop at most diners. I placed my order and one Mimosa later a hot plate of food was set in front of me. What happened next I can’t exactly remember, likely because after taking one bite of that incredibly rich and luscious food, I put blinders on and quite literally cleaned my plate. I usually only make it through about half of most breakfasts, so the fact this was gone and I can only recall it being one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth, you gotta believe me when I say it was pretty incredible.
So why am I writing a recipe for biscuits with sausage and sage gravy?
Well, a couple of very good reasons that I’m writing this post. For starters, this isn’t on their menu anymore. I can’t remember exactly when it came off, but somewhere between opening and closing their Ballard location, biscuits and gravy was removed from the breakfast menu at Skillet. The second reason that I’m writing this, is that recently I actually made this again, but instead of a sweet potato I used carrots and was like ‘Dang, this is also a good idea.’
Why was I using carrots? It just so happened to be that I had a lot of carrots and no sweet potatoes and why the heck not? Roasted carrots have a similar sweetness and color as roasted sweet potatoes; I think this is a perfectly reasonable substitute. Also, now you can use this recipe for BOTH VEGETABLES! See I’m totally doing you a favor with this two for one special. Just kidding but seriously, you can totally also use carrots if that’s what you got, just one of those wonderful discoveries I needed to share. This week, I got substituted one of those giant juicing bags of carrots in my grocery order this week versus one bag of shredded carrots and needed to use a ton of them up fast (those are DEFINITELY NOT EQUIVALENT PRODUCTS SAFEWAY!). So I was really looking for some ways to use a lot of carrots very quickly (I subbed 2 large carrots for the sweet potato).
This recipe is one of those that sounds like it could be really complicated and take a lot of effort and time, but it’s not. I actually really love making biscuits and gravy for impromptu weekend breakfast because it actually is really easy and then you have all sorts of leftovers for the next morning or week ahead.
How to Make Biscuits with Sausage and Sage Gravy
For the Biscuits
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup cold butter cut into pieces
- ¾ cup milk
For the Gravy
- 1lb. Ground pork sausage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 large sweet potato OR 2 large carrots, chopped to a rough dice
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt and Pepper
Make the Biscuits
- Heat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients for the biscuits together thoroughly.
- Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until combined and the mixture has taken on a more crumby texture.
- Add the milk into the butter-flour crumb and mix until all ingredients have just come together. The dough is going to be very sticky still.
- Prepare a clean surface for kneading the dough by flouring the surface thoroughly. Turn the dough out onto the surface and knead for 10-12 times until it starts holding together better and is less sticky overall. Pat or roll the dough gently to a ½” thickness (overall shape does not matter)
- Using a 2 to 2 1/2” diameter pastry cutter or drinking glass (or jam jar etc), cut out the biscuits from the dough. Transfer the cut biscuits to an ungreased cookie sheet roughly 1” apart.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the biscuits to a cooling rack once removed from the oven. While all the baking and cooling is going on, you can start the gravy.
Make the Gravy
- Brown the sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from the pan and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Turn the skillet to medium.
- Add the sweet potato to the pan and cook in the remaining oil from the pork sausage. You can add a little more oil to the pan if it looks dry, but I found I had plenty of fat leftover from cooking the pork.
- Once the sweet potatoes have begun to soften and brown slightly, add the sage and continue cooking until the sage is very fragrant and slightly crispy. Remove from heat
- In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the flour and whisk until the butter and flour come together in a paste like consistency. Continue whisking the flour and butter paste over heat for one minute until slightly reduced and bubbling.
- While continuing to whisk, slowly add the heavy cream to the flour-butter paste until smooth.
- Continue stirring and cooking the mixture over medium heat until it has almost reached optimum gravy thickness.
- Add the sausage, and the sweet potatoes and sage to the sauce pan of gravy and stir to combine and warm through.
- Salt and pepper the gravy to taste.
- On a large plate, you can either slice the biscuits in half and smother them open faced with gravy OR you can place your desired biscuit count on a plate whole and then smother it with gravy.
- Devour immediately. Hopefully with a mimosa but a large cup of pumpkin spice coffee also does the trick.