Red Eye Biscuits and Gravy

Serves 4.
Prep Time:
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Helpful Equipment:

cast iron skillet

Classic southern red eye gravy thickened a bit and served over seared ham and homemade buttermilk biscuits.


Buttermilk Biscuits:
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
2 cups buttermilk
Red Eye Gravy:
4 ounces bacon
1 pound ham steak, cut into 2 oz. slices
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coffee
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cream
Pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper
Dash of hot sauce
Fresh chives, garnish


1) Start biscuits by mixing flour with salt and baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.

2) Cut in cold butter using your fingers until it resembles small pea-sized pieces in the flour.

3) Add buttermilk and mix until the mixture forms a loose dough. Don’t over-mix the dough.

4) Scoop the dough out onto a floured surface and roll it out in a rectangle shape. Fold it into thirds over itself. Then roll it out gently and do it again. Finally roll it out until it’s about 1 inch thick.

5) Cut the biscuits out of the dough. You can either cut out circles or just slice the dough into rectangles.

6) Add biscuits to an ungreased baking sheet and brush them with some extra buttermilk. Then bake them at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until they are golden brown.

7) To start gravy, add bacon to a cold cast iron skillet over medium heat. Let the bacon cook slowly so the fat renders out. After about 10 minutes, most the fat should be rendered out.

8) Add ham steaks to the pan and sear them until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.

9) Remove ham and bacon. Pour off any extra pork fat, but leave 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. Add chopped onion and turn heat up to medium.

10) Cook onions until they are lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

11) Whisk in flour and continue to cook for a minute. Then slowly whisk in coffee and stock until the mixture forms a thin gravy. Cook and the gravy should thicken a bit.

12) Stir in cream, a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper, and a dash of hot sauce. Taste the gravy and adjust flavors to your liking. It might need more salt or sugar depending on how strong your coffee is. Keep warm until serving time. Optionally, you can also chop up bacon and add it back into the gravy.

13) To make a plate, split open a biscuit, add a ham steak to each biscuit and slather with gravy. Top each biscuit with chives and serve immediately!