Sausage Gravy Casserole with Cheddar-Cornmeal Biscuits
Active: 50 Min. Total: 1 Hour, 30 Min., plus 45 Min. cooling
1 lb. hot ground pork sausage (such as Odom's Tennessee Pride Hot Country Sausage)
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (from 1 small onion)
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper (from1 small bell pepper)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 3/4 self-rising soft-wheat flour (such as White Lily Enriched Bleached Self-Rising Flour), plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
3 oz. sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 3/4 cup)
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives, divided
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
Prepare the gravy: Coat a 13 x 9 baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. Cook sausage, onion, and bell pepper in a large skillet over medium, stirring often, until sausage is crumbled and browned and vegetables are tender, 10 to 13 minutes.
Add butter to cleaned skillet; cook over low, whisking often, until melted. Whisk in all-purpose flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk. Increase heat to medium. Cook, whisking occasionally, until think and bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in sausage mixture and salt; remove from heat. Spoon into prepared baking dish. Cool completely, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the biscuits: Whisk together self-rising flour and cornmeal in a large bowl. Add butter cubes; cut into flour mixture using a pastry blender or 2 forks until mixture is crumbly and resembles small peas. Stir in cheese and 2 tablespoons of the chives. Stir in cream until ingredients are just moistened. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface, and lightly knead until dough comes together, 3 or 4 times. Pat dough into an 8 x 6 inch rectangle. Cut into 12 (2 inch) squares, and cut each square in half diagonally. Cover; chill until ready to use. Arrange biscuits spaced 1/4 to 1/2 inch apart on top of cooled gravy.
Preheat oven to 350F. Bake until casserole is bubbly and biscuits are golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped chives. Serve hot.
After step 3, wrap freezer-safe baking dish tightly with 2 layers of aluminum foil. Freeze at least 4 hours or up to 2 months. When ready to serve, transfer casserole to refrigerator; thaw completely, about 24 hours. Unwrap dish; bake as directed in step 4.
Follow steps 1 and 2 as directed. Arrange 12 frozen unthawed buttermilk biscuits) from 1 25oz package spaced 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart on top of cooled gravy. Brush tops of biscuits with 1 Tbsp. melted butter; sprinkle with 3 oz. shredder sharp cheddar cheese (about 3/4 cup) and 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives. Bake as directed in step 4.