These biscuits and gravy with almond milk are the classic Southern dish, and you’ll never know they are dairy free! Serve for breakfast for a traditional Southern experience.
These biscuits and gravy with almond milk tastes just like regular biscuits and gravy.
In fact, the roux does a pretty good job removing any almond flavor.
Biscuits and gravy are made with either sausage or ground beef. Personally, I always make it with ground beef because it is what I always have on hand, but you can use either.
History of Biscuits and Gravy
Early European settlers in the United States brought with them a simple, easy style of cooking. It was usually based on ground wheat and warmed with gravy as a source of cheap nutrition. This was the foundation for biscuits.
The biscuit emerged as its own food in the early 1800s as a cheap addition to meals. It had the benefit of not requiring yeast.
At this point in time, bread was made only once a week. Also, yeast was a byproduct of making beer, commonly known as emptins.
So, if you lived in a city and close to a brewery you had relatively easy access to it. However, if you were not so lucky, it was either difficult to attain or you had to try to make some version of it at home.
Even once panned yeast was created by the turn of the century, it was still not easy to acquire.
Due to the lack of yeast, beaten biscuits, or sea biscuits as they are known in New England, were developed. They were similar to hardtack.
These biscuits were beaten and folded to incorporate air into the dough which expanded when heated in the oven, causing the biscuit to rise.
They were beaten for anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes using a rolling pin, hammer, side of an ax, or handle of a musket.
These biscuits were eaten with gravy, and it wasn’t long before Biscuits and Gravy was created. The advantage of the biscuit over a slice of bread was that biscuits are firmer, and therefore better for wiping up gravy.
Then, after the Civil War, biscuits and gravy became an actual dish because food was in short supply.
Also, a lack of money meant it had to be cheap and nutritious.
This was not unlike the early European settlers in the United States who ate ground wheat and warmed it with gravy because it was a source of cheap nutrition.
Breakfast was literally the most important meal of the day in the South for anyone facing a day of work on the plantations.
Then, with commercial baking powder becoming available in the middle of the century, it made the fluffy biscuit we know today possible. This, in turn, changed the face of biscuits and gravy to the delicious dish eaten all over the country.
What is biscuits and gravy made of?
Biscuits and gravy are made of biscuits or buttermilk biscuits covered in sausage gravy.
There is also a lesser known version: a vegetarian biscuits and gravy made without sausages.
This version uses country gravy or pepper gravy instead of sausage gravy.
Do biscuits and gravy have dairy?
Yes, biscuits and gravy contain dairy because sausage gravy is made using milk, and the biscuits are made with milk and butter.
What can I use to substitute milk for biscuits and gravy?
Unsweetened mild flavored dairy free milks are a very good substitute for milk in biscuits and gravy. You can also use water, but the gravy won’t be as opaque or white if you do. This recipe uses almond milk.
Can you make biscuits and gravy with almond milk?
Yes, you can make biscuits and gravy with unsweetened almond milk and/or almond cooking milk.
Simply replace the milk called for in biscuits and gravy for almond milk.
WHAT IS A ROUX
A roux is equal parts flour and fat cooked together until it reaches a specific color.
It is used as a thickening agent for gravy, sauces, soups and stews and have been used in French cooking for hundreds of years to thicken sauce.
The flour is added to the melted fat or oil on the stove top, blended until smooth, and cooked to the desired color.
The lighter the roux, the more thickening power it has.
Once the roux is the desired color, liquids like stock are added.
WHY USE FLOUR TO THICKEN GRAVY
I use flour to thicken gravy because it gives the gravy that classic opaque, slightly pale look.
Many people don’t like using flour because if it isn’t cooked long enough, it can give a floury flavor to the gravy. Also, if not made properly, it can become clumpy.
The good news is, making a smooth creamy gravy is a snap if you turn it into a roux first.
Another benefit some people see with gravy made with flour is that it keeps better in the fridge. This means it can be made ahead of time or use up leftovers.
IS KOSHER Meat BETTER?
Kosher animals are kept in better conditions than non-kosher animals due to strict kosher health requirements of the animals.
Also, the salting process used as part of the process of making meat kosher is similar to dry brining, and therefore produces a better quality meat.
While I’ve only eaten kosher meat and so I cannot compare, I’ve been told by non-Jews who do not keep kosher that they’ve noticed that kosher meat is of superior quality to cook with.
HOW TO DEFROST Meat
IN THE FRIDGE
Defrosting meat in the fridge is the most highly recommended.
To do this, place the frozen meat in a pan and let it thaw. Oftentimes when meat thaws, it releases liquids that can leak onto your fridge, so the pan is really helpful.
Meat typically takes a full day to thaw. Once thawed, it can remain in the refrigerator for a day or two before cooking.
IN COLD WATER
Defrosting meat in water should take two to three hours.
Submerge your sealed meat in a pot or bowl full of cold water. Change out the water every 30 minutes or so.
Do not use hot water because it can start cooking your meat.
Can you cook FROZEN meat?
According to the USDA, you can cook frozen meat. It will take 50% longer to cook, but it’s an option.
You should also cook it on a roasting rack or over vegetables so that the heat can circulate around the meat.
IS IT SAFE TO REFREEZE RAW meat?
According to the USDA, “food thawed in the refrigerator is safe to refreeze without cooking.” However, you do lose quality when refreezing previously defrosted meat.
Every time you defrost meat, it loses moisture as it thaws, which also leads to a loss in flavor. To compensate for this, marinate the meat to add more flavor and juice.
The USDA also says not to “refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F.”
HOW TO STORE MEAT
Once cooled, place in an airtight container and refrigerate. Store for 3 to 4 days.
HOW TO FREEZE MEAT
Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Place in an airtight container or resealable freezer bag.
Freeze for up to 6 months. After that, it is still safe to eat but the quality begins to degrade.