Red Eye Gravy

I didn’t realize until I was older what the red eye meant. My dad always made this (not my mom) I guess because he learned how to make it at the fire station. It was a special breakfast when we had this salty gravy to put over our grits.

Country ham, enough slices for servings needed

1/2 cup strong black coffee per serving

Brown ham over medium heat in a cast iron skillet to develop fond on the pan. Remove ham, add coffee and cook until thickend. Serve over grits or biscuits.

Chicken and Rice

This was a staple growing up because in the 70’s, whole chickens were cheap and rice was a staple in our diet. Whenever I need a comforting dish, this always hits the spot. It’s not fancy, but it’s cheap and filling, which was a must  in my family. Again, the method of cooking is so important to achieve authenticity. You can make this without a a pressure cooker, but I don’t recommend it.

3-4 lb young chicken

2 cups water

1 cup long grain white rice

Salt and Pepper to taste

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place chicken  and water in pressure cooker. Lock lid and cook according to manufacturer’s directions for 30-35 minutes.  Remove chicken, cool and shred chicken from bones. Add chicken and rice back to pot, bring to boil, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until rice is tender.


Sunday Pot Roast

For as long as I can remember, we had one of two things for Sunday dinner after church; fried chicken or pot roast. For this recipe, a cast iron dutch oven is essential for the low and slow cooking of a pretty tough piece of meat. Leaving the oven on while away from the house is frowned upon nowadays, so make sure someone is in the house while this is cooking. We always had rice with our roast instead of mashed potaotes since Mamaw (Mama’s mama) grew up in South Carolina.


3-5 lbs boneless chuck roast, with good fat marbling

Salt and Pepper to taste

3 Tb  flour, plus additional for thickening gravy

2 Tb vegetable oil

1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set oven rack in the middle of oven to give at least 4-5 inches of clearance for dutch oven with lid on. Pat dry roast with paper towels. Mix salt, pepper, and flour and generously coat the roast with mixture.  Heat oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown roast on all sides, pour water into the pot and place in preheated oven with lid on. Roast for 2-4 hours depending on size of roast until pull-apart tender. Remove roast from dutch oven and keep warm.  Thicken gravy with flour as desired and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.