Red-Eye Gravy and Coffee Biscuits

We added a surprising ingredient to a traditional flaky buttermilk biscuit: instant coffee. Topped off with a classic coffee and country ham gravy, you’re sure to start your day off right (and alert!).

Red-Eye Gravy and Coffee Biscuits
Yields: 5-8 servings
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 (6-ounce) package country ham slices
  • 1 cup strong-brewed black coffee
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Coffee Biscuits (recipe follows)
  1. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add ham; cook, turning once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet, and let drain on paper towels. Reserve drippings in pan.
  2. Add coffee to pan, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet with a wooden spoon. Stir in broth, paprika, and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling until combined; cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in thyme. Serve over ham slices and Coffee Biscuits.

Coffee Biscuits
Yields: About 10
  • 3 cups self-rising flour*
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark roast instant coffee
  • ½ cup cold salted butter, cubed
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cold whole buttermilk, divided
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon water
  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and instant coffee. Using a pastry blender, cut in cold butter until mixture is crumbly. Add ¾ cup cold buttermilk, stirring with a fork just until combined. Add remaining 2 tablespoons cold buttermilk, if necessary.
  3. Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface, and knead several times until dough holds together. Pat dough to ¾-inch thickness. Using a 2½-inch round cutter, cut dough, rerolling scraps as necessary. Place 2 inches apart on prepared pan. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and 1 teaspoon water. Brush egg wash onto dough.
  5. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve warm.
*We used White Lily Unbleached Self-Rising Flour and Nescafé Clasico Dark Roast Instant Coffee.