Sausage Gravy

Fresh Pork Sausage Gravy
Last week "DR. OZ" featured a PHD. who accidentally found the cause of Alzheimer's. She was looking for something else completely and found it by mishap. Long story short, it is nitrates in processed foods. When I spoke of this with Mother she immediately replied that her Dad ate smoked meats all of his life and never had a problem. I reminded her that Grandpa Neukam had his own smoke house and they "cured" their own bacon, and hams there with smoke, not chemicals. Enough said.

So.......I called our butcher, Mr. Randy Pearson who with his beautiful wife and children own and operate Rivertown Butcher Shop and asked if there were any hams or deli meats not containing nitrates that he knew of. After doing a double check the answer was no.

Saturday Brian and I went to their meat market as I have always bought my meat from them. (I have done so since the first day they opened and always had wonderful service and the freshest and best meat you could hope to have.)

Brian made it a point to buy his fresh made pork breakfast sausage because he wanted me to make sausage gravy for him Sunday morning. I wanted it because I knew unlike bacon, ham, or processed rolls of sausage there would be no nitrates in this sausage.

Actually I would not have ever put how to make this as it not something I even measure the ingredients for as I just "make" it and have for a lifetime. Brian insisted I put it on as it might be his favorite food and he thought there might be some folks who would enjoy trying it.

I think it might be the best breakfast alternative for all of those country boys out there not wanting to partake of so many nitrates!

Here is my way of making it:

1 pound fresh bulk pork sausage
1 C. all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste
5 C. milk

Brown the sausage over medium high heat in a heavy bottomed frying pan stirring as you go to break up the meat.  When this is done and the meat is well browned sprinkle the flour across the entire top of the skillet and stir to incorporate the meat juices, meat, and flour.  Keep cooking and stirring as you want the flour to cook a bit for better flavor.  The pan may be a bit dry.  That is fine.  It may be like a thick paste.  It all depends on how much fat was in the meat.  It is OK either way.  Just keep stirring.

Add about 1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. black pepper and milk and stir with abandon.  Use a large whisk if you have one.  It will help keep you from having a lumpy finished product.  You cannot walk away from making gravy.  You have to do it rather quickly and you need to keep stirring for a great gravy!  Taste it and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot ladled over bread, toast, hot biscuits, or even over your eggs.  For some strange reason all of the men in our family love this.  It is easy to make after you do it a few times.  If there is gravy left over it can be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container and reheated in the microwave the next morning and it will be just great.

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