I've always been a little curious about red eye gravy. The unique pan gravy one makes by searing off a ham steak, caramelizing some onions and deglazing with coffee. Yes, coffee. Sounds a little odd, doesn't it? I've often wondered how it all balances out, but with the right combo of ingredients, it really is an outstandingly unique gravy, that pairs ever so beautifully with ham and biscuits. So, I put them all together in what equates to one impressive little brunch item!
Start with the biscuits:
- 2 cups AP flour, more for dusting
- 1 Tbls white sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper, optional
- 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
- 1 stick of unsalted butter, placed in the freezer for 10 min.
- 3 Tbls unsalted butter, melted
Whisk all the dry ingredients and spices in a bowl, and set aside. Grate the frozen butter, and add the grated butter to the flour mixture. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 5 - 10 min. Preheat the oven to 400º while you wait.
Take the flour bowl out of the fridge, and stir lightly with a spatula to mix the butter into the flour. Make a well in the middle, and add the chilled buttermilk. Gently fold the buttermilk into the flour to form a moist dough. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface, to about 1/2" to 3/4" thickness. Use a 2" round to cut out the biscuits. Place biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet, and brush each biscuit well with butter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until golden brown. Take the biscuits out of the oven, brush with more butter and let rest for about 5 min.
While the biscuits rest, make some Red Eye Gravy.
- 1/2 lb thick cut ham steak
- 2 sliced Applewood bacon, diced
- olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp light brown sugar, (I used Moscavado sugar)
- 1 Tbls AP flour
- 1 cup strong brewed coffee
- 1 - 2 Tbls butter
In a small pan over medium heat, add a little olive oil and the bacon, and render slowly until crisp, turning once or twice, for about 5 min. Reseve crisp bacon to a paper towel, leaving fat in the pan. Turn the heat up a little, and fry the ham steak until nice and brown, about 4 min. per side. Reserve ham, loosely covered, or place in 250º oven to keep warm. Caramelize the shallots, stirring often for about 3 - 4 min. Add the sugar, and stir. Next, add the flour, and whisk for about 1 min. Deglaze the pan with the coffee, sttirring to get up all the brown bits in the pan. Keep whisking to get a smooth sauce, and add a little water to thin it out if necessary. Simmer over medium-low heat until cooked through and gravy like, about 2 - 3 min. Season with some salt and pepper to taste. Taste it, and add a little more sugar if it is a little too bitter. Once the sauce looks about ready, take off the heat and stir in 1 - 2 Tbls of softened butter.
When ready to serve, thinly slice the ham, split a biscuit, and place ham strips on the bottom half. Drizzle about 2 spoonfuls of gravy over the ham, and top with a little crispy bacon. Place top half of biscuit on top, and there you have it! Serve with a little extra Red Eye Gravy on the side.