Best Buttermilk Biscuits:
6 1⁄2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1⁄2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, diced and chilled
3 cups buttermilk, chilled
2 tablespoons butter, melted
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda on low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium-low and mix in the butter until it is the size of small peas. With the mixer running, add the buttermilk, mix- ing just until blended. Do not overmix; the dough will be a bit shaggy with bits of unincorporated dry ingredients.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll it gently into a 1 1⁄2-inch-thick circle. Cut out 12 biscuits using a 3-inch cutter, dipping it in flour between biscuits. Do not twist the cutter; this will seal the sides of your biscuits and they will not rise as high.
Arrange the biscuits onto two baking sheets, and brush them with the melted butter. Right before baking, reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake the biscuits until golden brown on top, 22 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking.
For the stock
2 1⁄2 pounds portobello or cremini mushrooms
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
8 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 quarts (8 cups) cold water
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1⁄4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1⁄4 cup Texas Pete or Crystal hot sauce
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves Zest and juice from 1⁄2 lemon
First cut the stems off the mushrooms and the gills from the caps, reserving the caps for the gravy.
In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine the mushroom stems and gills, onion, celery, carrot, rosemary and thyme sprigs, bay leaf, salt, and water and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until reduced by one-quarter, about 45 minutes. Skim any residue that rises and discard. Strain the stock through a sieve and discard the solids. You should have about 6 cups.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Slice the reserved mushroom caps into thick slices. Put the mushroom slices on a baking sheet; drizzle them with the oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper, tossing with your hands to evenly coat. Roast the mushrooms until they are dark brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Set them aside.
In a large sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it bubbles. Whisk in the flour and cook until it’s golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Slowly add the milk, then the mushroom stock, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add the roasted mushrooms and stir in the Worcester- shire, hot sauce, parsley, thyme and rosemary leaves, and lemon zest and juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Store the gravy in a lidded container for up to 1 week in the refrigerator
(c)2016 By Heather L. Earnhardt. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Big Food Big Love: Down-Home Southern Cooking Full of Heart of Seattle’s Wandering Goose