Alright, let’s talk gravy. I grew up in Arkansas and had biscuits and gravy just about every Sunday morning, or at least as often as I could. I absolutely love the stuff. Although, we have it much, much less frequently nowadays.
Given that I consider myself to be a bit of a gravy connoisseur, I am now going to get picky. I do not like gravy that tastes like paste, is overly thick or watery thin. I also do not like gravy that is bland. Sometimes, I will suffer a sausage gravy (mostly because of my husband), but I almost always prefer it made with bacon.
Here is my family’s recipe for what I call “Arkansas Bacon Gravy.” I call it this because it seems like that’s the only place I can go to get it made this way. The secret isn’t just using bacon, but also letting the flour cook a bit as you would a roux.
I made this recipe for most of my life without measuring. I have tried my best to give you the correct amounts. You know how it is when recipes get handed down. Everyone just seems to know how to make it – no measurements needed!
Arkansas Bacon Gravy
- 1 lb applewood smoked bacon
- 3 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 6 cups milk
- Fry bacon in a cast iron skillet until crisp. Place on paper towels to drain and set aside.
- After skillet cools a few minutes, remove excess bacon grease leaving about 3 tbsp.
- Over medium heat warm the grease and whisk in the flour. The mixture should form a runny paste. Continue to whisk the flour as if you were making a roux. It should start to darken and turn a light, nutty brown color.
- Add milk all at once and whisk vigorously. Keep whisking until gravy starts to thicken. This can take a few minutes. Add salt, pepper and taste. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve immediately over a hot fluffy biscuit!