Bodacious Biscuits and Gravy

Jolley Biscuits and Gravy breakfast

My mom and dad and I stopped by the World Famous Jolley Biscuits and Gravy Breakfast recently.

I admit it—I never liked biscuits and gravy until I sampled the fare at the World-Famous Biscuits and Gravy Breakfasts in tiny Jolley, Iowa.

Until then, most biscuits and gravy entrees I’d tried were gloppy, greasy, bland affairs. Turns out that the folks at Jolley know that the secret lies in the gravy. Use a high-quality pork sausage, and you’re off to a great start.

The folks in Jolley procure their sausage from the Yetter Locker, which creates a customized sausage for Jolley’s fundraising breakfasts each winter.

The specialists at the Yetter Locker (a town with a population of 36, making it about the same size as Jolley) add one and a half times the spice mix used in their regular pork sausage. The best part is that anyone can buy this fabulous sausage that that packs a flavor punch. Just ask them to whip you up a pound or two (or 120 pounds like the folks in Jolley buy) with the Jolley spice mix recipe.

Create your own taste of Iowa

If you can’t make it to the Yetter Locker, I recommend using Jimmy Dean sausage in biscuits and gravy. It’s what my friend Gerry Weidert of Lake City used when he served hundreds of bikers who pedaled through Lake City in late July of 2012 during RAGBRAI (the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa), a seven-day extravaganza that has become the oldest, largest, and longest bicycle touring event in the world during its 40-year history. Check out the story of RAGBRAI at

Biscuits and Gravy breakfast in Lake City

Shortly after RAGBRAI 2012 came through Lake City, Iowa, I enjoyed homemade Biscuits and Gravy with Lake City Mayor Gary Fahan (left) and the cook, Gerry Weidert of Lake City.

RAGBRAI also showcases what’s great about Iowa, including country cooking. Just click to my Farm News article, “A Moveable Feast: RAGBRAI Riders Enjoy Tastes of Iowa” for more stories and not-to-be-missed recipes for Biscuits and Gravy, Apple Turnovers, Luscious Cherry Pie, Smothered Hash Browns, and more.

Since premium pork sausage takes a starring role in my Bodacious Biscuits and Gravy, here’s a fun fact about today’s pork. Have you heard about the Slim 7? Seven cuts of pork meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) guidelines for “lean,” meaning that they have less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3-ounce cooked serving. Pork tenderloin actually qualifies as “extra lean,” making it as lean as a skinless chicken breast! Source: the National Pork Board

Bodacious Biscuits and Gravy

To make biscuits:
2 1/4 cups Bisquick mix
2/3 cup milk
Biscuits and Gravy
Combine Bisquick and milk, and knead dough.
Dust a countertop with flour, and roll out dough to a thickness of about one half of an inch up to 1 inch.
Cut out biscuits with a biscuit cutter. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 450 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

To make the sausage gravy:
1 pound Yetter Locker sausage or Jimmy Dean sausage
2/3 cup flour
5 cups 2% milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Brown the sausage; reserve the grease. Stir in flour until dissolved. Gradually stir in milk. On medium high to high heat, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture is thick and bubbly. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve sausage gravy over biscuits.


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