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Old 03-23-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
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Red Eye Gravy Advice Needed

Over the past several months I feel I've mastered the Southern Buttermilk Biscuit and Sausage Gravy, but today I tried Red Eye Gravy for the first time. I started with country ham, which in my view is the prosciutto of south--delicious!. I cooked the ham slowly to render out the fat and get as much grease as I could, but to my surprise there was almost no fat/grease at all. The ham came out tough and chewy. I figured, "I've come this far so I might as well see it through," and I added the coffee. The coffee cooked down, but overall the whole thing was a disaster. Very bitter tasting coffee and tough ham. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but since this was my first attempt I hope someone out there can give me some pointers.

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Old 03-24-2014, 06:07 AM   #2
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IMO red eye gravy is a disaster!

It sounds like you made it correctly.

The only red eye gravy I ever had was just coffee used to deglaze a frying pan that had been used to cook a slice of ham, the red eyes are the oily blobs of ham fat floating in the coffee.

I prefer a milk based gravy made using the same dirty frying pan, flour, milk and way too much coarsely ground black pepper.

I guess it all depends on what your Mother and Grandmother fed you when you were little.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:57 AM   #3
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Hi and welcome to DC

I think you overcooked the ham; it only takes about 8-10 minutes to cook sliced ham in a skillet and unless there's a lot of fat around the edge, ham is a pretty lean meat, so you won't get a lot of rendered fat. Regarding the gravy, I'm not a big fan of red-eye gravy, either, but I think you need to add a bit of water to dilute the coffee. Here's a recipe:
http://southernfood.about.com/od/rec...r/bl60417a.htm

Btw, this is not a hugely sought-after dish, you know It's one of those "make do with what you have" dishes where getting calories and not wasting anything were the main goals - not developing flavor.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:13 AM   #4
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Thanks!

I wondered if I overcooked it. I cooked it very slowly on low heat longer than 10 minutes. It had plenty of fat in it so there should have been plenty of grease. I'm not giving up. I'll give it go until I work it out. Then I'll have a heart attack or stroke from eating it (Good GOD there is a lot of salt in it!). Then I'll move on to something healthier, like... corned beef hash.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erico View Post
I wondered if I overcooked it. I cooked it very slowly on low heat longer than 10 minutes. It had plenty of fat in it so there should have been plenty of grease. I'm not giving up. I'll give it go until I work it out. Then I'll have a heart attack or stroke from eating it (Good GOD there is a lot of salt in it!). Then I'll move on to something healthier, like... corned beef hash.
Yes, there's a ton of salt in country ham! That's probably why I don't like it much. But that salt preserves it for a long time. I've seen recipes where people soak it for several hours to get rid of some of the salt.
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
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Country ham is the prosciutto of the south. It is prepared the same way.

We have it occasionally, but it is very salty. I always rinse it off then dry before using.
But it cooks very fast. Its basically already cooked/preserved, so all you need to do is heat it through.

Sorry i can't help with the gravy. I watch "Gunsmoke" all the time though......lol
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Old 03-24-2014, 11:19 AM   #7
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I am a northern guy, so this may not be authentic.

Add up to 1/4 cup butter to the pan to supplement the ham fat.
Add up to 1/4 cup brown sugar or to taste
Add 1/2 cup Fresh brewed hot coffee to the pan.

Stir scraping up the pan bits and swirl gravy until sugar is melted and is hot. Doesn't take long to make.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskadoodle View Post
I am a northern guy, so this may not be authentic.

Add up to 1/4 cup butter to the pan to supplement the ham fat.
Add up to 1/4 cup brown sugar or to taste
Add 1/2 cup Fresh brewed hot coffee to the pan.

Stir scraping up the pan bits and swirl gravy until sugar is melted and is hot. Doesn't take long to make.
My Grandmother used butter, brown sugar and coffee to make a quick topping for pancakes when she ran out of real maple syrup. She put the butter and brown sugar in a cup and added just enough hot coffee to melt the butter and sugar, then drizzled it over our pancakes, we loved it! We thought that was her invention, maybe she hung out around the campfire with the cowpokes eating red eye gravy before she settled down to take care of us!
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Old 03-25-2014, 01:06 AM   #9
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Enrico, I soak my ham changing the water
twice, (20 minutes or so) Use a little fat in
a hot skillet brown ham quickly. add fresh
brewed coffee and reduce . Use the same
coffee you drink not stronger. You are looking
for the brown in the bottom of the skillet, Not
fat.

Josie
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:16 AM   #10
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I have never had this, but it doesn't sound appealing at all. Coffee??????
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