There are foods in each state that should be considered regional treasures. In Indiana the two that readily come to mind are breaded pork tenderloins as big as your head and biscuits and gravy. Here in my home state I have had lots of variations on both dishes. When it comes to biscuits and gravy though the variations only vary in what goes under the creamy sausage and peppery gravy. You can count on the gravy staying the same.
Now I have traveled. On my travels I have eaten in many mom and pop diners, hole in the walls, and everywhere in between and I have had subtle variations on the gravy. In New Mexico for example they use chilis. Still the base is a cream gravy.
There is a place on the outskirts of Nashville, TN called the Loveless Cafe and Hotel. I am sure it started as a mom and pop place but as it caught on, they make their own sausage, jams and biscuits by hand, with the Nashville stars it became busy. By the time I enjoyed a breakfast there the only star you might see was in one of the multitude of photographs on the wall.
Nevertheless the breakfast were good, a nice mix of rural Tennessee, and it didn’t take two seconds for me to know what I was ordering. They offered four different kinds of gravy for your biscuits and the one that caught my desire was the giblet gravy. It must run in my veins because I can’t not order a dish when it incorporates giblets.
So here is my Ode to Loveless. It is a spring dish, it is what we call Sunday brunch and it will channel your inner granny. You will be all the better for it.
Biscuits with Ramp and Giblet Gravy ( serves 4 )
For the gravy:
1 quart homemade chicken stock or unsalted store bought
2 tablespoons flour, rice or wheat
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 bunch of ramps, white parts only, cleaned and chopped
1 each poultry heart, liver and gizzard, chopped finely
fresh ground black pepper
1. In a 2 quart heavy bottomed sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Once it is melted stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Use a wooden spoon sometime metal will react with the pot and you will get a gray gravy. Constantly stir the flour until it begins to color. Once it is tan, keep stirring to avoid clumps, add the giblets and ramps. Stir some more.
2. Add the stock, be careful it will bubble and spit. Stir the gravy until it comes back to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer until reduced by half.
3. Make the biscuits.
4. Taste the gravy and add salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
5. When the biscuits are done and the gravy hot, serve topped with chives.