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RED EYE GRAVY

A decadent rich, dark, flavorful and slightly salty red eye gravy to sop up with biscuits, what could be wrong in the world? I mean, come on, it’s RED EYE GRAVY!

A blue cup of red eye gravy pouring over three pieces of country ham on a white plate

Red Eye Gravy

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS

  • Deep rich coffee has an unbelievable flavor.
  • Perfect balance of salty and creamy.
  • Uses ingredients you already have at home! 

LET’S SEE HOW THIS IS DONE! 

STEP 1.

First brown the country ham in a little oil

Country ham cooking in a silver skillet in oil with a hand turning the ham with a fork

Red Eye Gravy

STEP 2.

Then remove the ham to drain on a paper towel and add flour to the remaining oil in the pan, cook for a minute or two

wooden spoon stirring flour into oil in a silver frying pan

Red Eye gravy

STEP 3.

Then slowly add the coffee and water combination to the contents of the frying pan

Coffee being poured from a pyrex measure into the frying pan containing the flour and oil

Red Eye Gravy

STEP 4.

Whisk well and add the seasonings.

A small bowl of cayenne pepper held over the top of a silver skillet with gravy in it

Red Eye Gravy

STEP 5.

Continue to heat over medium heat until the gravy is as thick as you prefer.

Wooden spoon stirring a frying pan of red eye gravy

Red Eye Gravy

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS RED EYE GRAVY?

It is an old southern gravy. It is made from country ham drippings and black coffee.

Folks prefer red eye gravy served with the country ham and biscuits because biscuits LOVE to sop up gravy! 

HOW DID IT GET ITS NAME?

When you pour a traditional recipe of this into a bowl, the coffee and the grease separate with the coffee sinking to the bottom and the grease floating on the top. This looks something like a big red eye laying in the bowl.

Ewwww…. I know, right?

DOES RED EYE GRAVY TASTE LIKE COFFEE?

Yes and no.  It does have a certain coffee flavor.

But the coffee flavor is subtle and frankly, delicious!

You’ll just have to whip some up for yourself and give it a try!

The recipe is just below with a video and everything!

WHAT’S RED EYE GRAVY MADE FROM?

Traditionally it is made with country ham drippings and black coffee ONLY.

You can also make it as one of it’s many variations that include….

  • Baked ham  (City Ham)
  • Sugar cured country  ham
  • Bacon
  • Pork Chops
  • Other breakfast foods.

CAN I MAKE RED EYE GRAVY WITHOUT COFFEE?

Well, then,  it wouldn’t be red eye gravy. Perhaps you would be happier with a brown gravy or a simple gravy made without drippings.

WHAT DO I SERVE RED EYE GRAVY WITH?

It is BEST as a thin gravy that lightly flavors country ham and biscuits.

You are best to serve red eye gravy with…

  • Grits
  • Biscuits
  • Eggs
  • Toast
  • Breakfast potatoes

Some folks prefer these options:

  • Made with raisins
  • Served with shrimp and grits
  • Made with ketchup, sausage, brown sugar.
  • Made with coke or molasses.
  • Served over meatloaf.
  • Drizzled over fried chicken.
  1.  

HOW LONG IS RED EYE GRAVY GOOD FOR?

Use yours within 2 hours and then it will need to be refrigerated. Once covered and refrigerated, it will keep for about 5 days.

CAN I FREEZE RED EYE GRAVY.

It  doesn’t freeze well, it separates when frozen. So, I recommend to just make some fresh.

WHERE CAN I FIND COUNTRY HAM?

You may be able to find country ham at your grocery store. If you don’t see it immediately, ask the butcher. It comes in a vacuum sealed plastic cover usually (like bacon).

If you can’t find it locally, I have noticed it on Amazon before, but that is an expensive option. The photo below is an affiliate link and I am an affiliate of Amazon. If you choose to purchase through this method, I thank you. I am paid a commission that doesn’t change your purchase price.

 

 

TIPS AND TRICKS FOR RED EYE GRAVY

  • Country ham isn’t available everywhere. Ask your butcher at the grocery where you can find some.
  • Find country ham on Amazon but be aware, it is expensive.
  • Country ham doesn’t render a lot of grease, that is why I add the bacon grease.
  • If you don’t have any bacon grease, use the same amount of butter or vegetable oil. Don’t substitute with olive oil, it imparts the olive flavor and that doesn’t work with it  
  • Country ham is an acquired taste. It is very salty.
  • If you want to make a very traditional gravy, then leave off the flour and simply cook the coffee and grease together.
  • A tiny amount of red eye gravy goes a long way. There’s no need to soak your plate with red eye gravy.
 

Check out the OTHER Gravies at Loaves and Dishes!…

  1. Sausage Gravy
  2. Southern Tomato Gravy
  3. Sawmill Gravy
  4. Hamburger Gravy
  5. Gravy made without drippings
  6. How To Make Gravy with Cornstarch

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A blue cup of red eye gravy pouring over three pieces of country ham on a white plate

Red Eye Gravy

A decadent rich, dark, flavorful and slightly salty gravy to sop up with biscuits, what could be wrong in the world?  I mean, come on, it’s GRAVY!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: gravy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red eye gravy, coffee gravy, red gravy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbs bacon grease
  • 2-3 pieces of country ham
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour
  • 3/4  Cup dark black coffee
  • ¼ cup water
  • tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra water If gravy is more thick than you like, thin it down by adding and whisking in the water.

Instructions

  • In a skillet over medium heat on the stovetop, heat the bacon grease until it melts and starts to glisten.  Add the country ham.
  • Fry the ham for a minute or two on each side.  Remove to drain on a paper towel.
  • Add one teaspoon of all purpose flour to the drippings left in the pan and stir well, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • In a small bowl,  pour the coffee and water together and stir
  • Whisk the coffee mixture  into the pan by slowly drizzling it.  Then Whisk briskly to fully incorporate.
  • Season with cayenne and brown sugar.
  • Bring to a simmer.   Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.  If you note that the gravy is too bitter or doesn't have enough flavor, add more salt.
  • Serve hot with the ham and biscuits

Notes

  • Country ham isn’t available everywhere.  Ask your butcher at the grocery where you can find some.  
  • You can usually find country ham on Amazon, it’s expensive bought that way.
  • Country ham doesn’t render a lot of grease, that is why I add the bacon grease.
  • If you don’t have any bacon grease, use the same amount of butter or vegetable oil.  Don’t substitute with olive oil, it imparts the olive flavor and that doesn’t work with red eye gravy.  
  • Country ham is an acquired taste, just be forewarned.  It is very salty.
  • If you want to make a very traditional red eye gravy, then leave off the flour and simply cook the coffee and grease together.
Only serve a tiny amount of red eye gravy with the dish, it isn’t meant to soak everything on the plate.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Red Eye Gravy
Amount Per Serving
Calories 220
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @loavesanddishes or tag #loavesanddishes!

 

A VERSE TO SHARE

I’m called to just leave this here. I encourage you to read the entire passage at Hebrews 10.

Hebrews 10: 32-39

Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.

You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.  For,

“In just a little while,

   he who is coming will come

   and will not delay.”

And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith.

   And I take no pleasure

   in the one who shrinks back.”

But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.

 

Blue plate with two biscuits covered in thick white sawmill gravy with lumps of sausage showing in the gravy.
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Wendi Spraker

Friday 15th of February 2019

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