How to make red-eye gravy using country ham?

Introduction: What is red-eye gravy?

Red-eye gravy is a Southern classic that has been around for generations. It is a thin, salty, and slightly bitter sauce made using the drippings of fried country ham and coffee. The name "red-eye" comes from the appearance of the gravy, which looks like a red eye in the center of the skillet. The gravy is typically served over hot biscuits for breakfast or brunch.

Ingredients needed for red-eye gravy

To make red-eye gravy, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound of country ham
  • 1/4 cup of coffee
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Make sure to choose a high-quality country ham for the best flavor. You can also adjust the amount of coffee and water depending on how thick or thin you prefer your gravy to be.

Preparing the country ham

Before cooking the country ham, it’s important to remove any excess fat and skin. You can do this by trimming the edges with a sharp knife. Next, score the ham lightly on both sides to prevent it from curling up while cooking.

Cooking the country ham

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter or bacon grease. Once the fat has melted, place the ham in the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Make sure not to overcook the ham, as it will become tough and dry.

Removing the ham from the skillet

Once the ham is cooked, remove it from the skillet and place it on a plate to rest. Cover it with foil to keep it warm while you make the gravy.

Making the red-eye gravy

To make the gravy, add the coffee and water to the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it cook for 1-2 minutes.

Adding coffee to the skillet

Once the coffee and water have been added to the skillet, it’s important to stir constantly to prevent the gravy from burning.

Simmering the gravy

Reduce the heat to low and let the gravy simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until it has thickened to your desired consistency. If the gravy is too thick, you can add more water or coffee.

Adjusting the seasoning

Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and if the gravy is too bitter, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance it out.

Serving the red-eye gravy

To serve the gravy, slice the country ham into thin pieces and place it on a plate. Spoon the gravy over the ham and serve with hot biscuits.

Pairing suggestions for red-eye gravy

Red-eye gravy pairs well with other Southern classics, such as grits, fried eggs, and hash browns. You can also serve it with sautéed greens for a healthier option.

Conclusion: Enjoy your homemade red-eye gravy

Making red-eye gravy at home is easy and delicious. With just a few simple ingredients and some basic cooking techniques, you can create a classic Southern dish that will impress your family and friends. So next time you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast or brunch, try making red-eye gravy using country ham. Your taste buds will thank you!

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Elise DeVoe

Elise is a seasoned food writer with seven years of experience. Her culinary journey began as Managing Editor at the College of Charleston for Spoon University, the ultimate resource for college foodies. After graduating, she launched her blog, Cookin’ with Booze, which has now transformed into captivating short-form videos on TikTok and Instagram, offering insider tips for savoring Charleston’s local cuisine.

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