Sunday, July 20, 2014

Trailer Park Gourmet: Jimmy Mac

Several weeks ago we invited some friends over for Sunday morning breakfast. As we sat eating sausage gravy and biscuits, I was struck with the realization that combining sausage gravy with macaroni and cheese would produce something amazing. We tried it, and it was as incredible as we had anticipated. We call it "Jimmy Mac", it's basically macaroni and cheese, but instead of a white sauce, we use sausage gravy.

We made it again this morning, and I took pictures so that others could vicariously enjoy it.

If you haven't made sausage gravy, it's not that hard. Here's how I make it:

  1. Take some sausage (patties, not links), crumble it, and brown it. I like to get it to a mahogany color, but this morning I just got it to "brown".
  2. Once the sausage is browned, scoop it out of the pan.
  3. Next you need to make a roux. Don't clean the pan! Take equal parts butter and flour (this morning I used 1/2 Cup of each). Put the butter in the pan and melt it completely. Once the butter is completely melted, whisk the flour into it. Once the butter-flour mixture starts to darken, it's time to add liquid.
  4. Slowly stir milk into the butter-flour mixture. If you just intend to pour amazing gravy over biscuits, you can make it pretty thick: but if you want to make Jimmy Mac, you'll want a thinner gravy. I add about 1/2 Cup of milk at a time, and whisk it in until it's completely smooth. The end result is a creamy, silky-smooth sauce.
  5. Once the gravy hits the right consistency, put some (or all) of the browned sausage back into the gravy and stir it all together.
At this point you have sausage gravy.

But since we intend to make Jimmy Mac, it's time to doctor the sausage gravy a bit:

  1. This morning I took a few handfuls of shredded cheddar and stirred them in:
    I whisked those in until I had a smooth cheese sauce, with chunks of sausage in it.
  2. We boiled about a pound of rotini and slowly added it to the cheese sauce:
  3. Once that's all mixed together, we put it into the crock pot (we were making this for a church potluck), and put a handful or two of shredded cheddar over the top:

So that's it: the marriage of sausage gravy with macaroni and cheese. Probably the most redneck food that's ever been eaten.