Go Back
+ servings
A blue cup of red eye gravy pouring over three pieces of country ham on a white plate
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

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!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: gravy
Cuisine: American
Keyword: red eye gravy, coffee gravy, red gravy
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 220kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker


  • 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.


  • 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



  • 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.


Calories: 220kcal