Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham is a classic Southern dish that brings together the rich, salty flavors of country ham with the unique and robust taste of red eye gravy.

This simple yet flavorful recipe is a staple in Southern cuisine, and it’s a perfect addition to your breakfast or brunch table.

Let’s dive into the origins, ingredients, and step-by-step process of making this delicious dish.

The Origins of Red Eye Gravy

Red eye gravy has a storied history in Southern cooking. The name “red eye” is believed to come from the gravy’s appearance, which often has a reddish hue due to the coffee used in its preparation.

The traditional pairing with country ham makes this dish a hearty and satisfying option for any meal.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Before we start cooking, let’s gather the ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need:

Main Ingredients

  • 4 slices of country ham (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 cup of strong black coffee
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (optional)

Optional Add-Ons

  • Biscuits for serving
  • Grits for a complete Southern breakfast

Step-by-Step Directions

Now, let’s get cooking! Follow these simple steps to make Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham.

Step 1: Preparing the Ham

  1. Heat the Skillet: Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Allow it to get hot, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Cook the Ham: Add the slices of country ham to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the ham is browned and crispy on the edges.
  3. Remove the Ham: Once cooked, transfer the ham to a plate and cover it with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Step 2: Making the Gravy

  1. Deglaze the Pan: With the skillet still on the heat, pour in the coffee and water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. This step is crucial for getting all the flavorful bits into the gravy.
  2. Simmer: Allow the mixture to come to a simmer. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the gravy has reduced slightly.
  3. Optional Enhancements: If you prefer a richer gravy, stir in the butter and brown sugar at this point. This will add a bit of sweetness and depth to the gravy.
  4. Adjust Seasoning: Taste the gravy and adjust the seasoning as needed. Depending on the saltiness of your ham, you might not need to add any extra salt.

Step 3: Serving

  1. Plate the Ham: Place the slices of country ham on a serving platter.
  2. Pour the Gravy: Spoon the red eye gravy over the ham slices.
  3. Serve Immediately: Serve hot with biscuits and grits for a traditional Southern breakfast.

Tips for the Perfect Red Eye Gravy

Choosing the Right Ham

Country ham is known for its salty and savory flavor. When selecting your ham, look for high-quality country ham slices that are about 1/4 inch thick. This thickness allows the ham to brown nicely without becoming too tough.

Coffee Selection

The coffee used in red eye gravy adds a unique depth of flavor. Choose a strong black coffee for the best results. If you don’t have brewed coffee on hand, instant coffee can be used in a pinch.

Customizing Your Gravy

Red eye gravy is traditionally simple, but you can customize it to your liking. Adding a tablespoon of butter gives the gravy a richer

texture, while a bit of brown sugar can balance out the saltiness of the ham with a touch of sweetness. Some variations even include a splash of cola for a unique twist.

Nutritional Information

Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham is a rich and hearty dish. Here’s a breakdown of its nutritional content:

Nutritional Details

  • Calories: 220 per serving
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 2g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g

Pairing Suggestions

Biscuits

Freshly baked biscuits are a perfect companion to Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham. They can soak up the flavorful gravy and provide a soft, buttery contrast to the salty ham.

Grits

Creamy grits are another Southern staple that pairs beautifully with this dish. Their mild flavor and creamy texture complement the bold flavors of the ham and gravy.

Eggs

Adding a couple of fried or scrambled eggs can turn this dish into a complete breakfast. The eggs add extra protein and richness.

Conclusion

Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham is more than just a meal; it’s a piece of Southern heritage. With its simple preparation and bold flavors, it’s a dish that brings comfort and satisfaction to the table. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to Southern cuisine, this recipe is a must-try.

Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham

Red Eye Gravy with Country Ham is a classic Southern dish featuring savory country ham slices topped with a robust coffee-based gravy. This hearty breakfast favorite is simple to make and packed with rich, salty flavors.
Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 15 mins Servings: 4 Calories: 220 kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat the Skillet: Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Allow it to get hot, which should take about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Cook the Ham: Add the slices of country ham to the skillet. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side until the ham is browned and crispy on the edges. Remove the ham and keep warm.
  3. Deglaze the Pan: Pour in the coffee and water, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced.
  4. Optional Enhancements: Stir in the butter and brown sugar if desired. Adjust the seasoning.
  5. Serve: Place the ham on a platter, spoon the gravy over it, and serve hot with biscuits and grits.

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