Egg Gravy: The Pantry Staple Sauce For The Richest Breakfasts

Unless you count the ketchup that's sometimes squirted over scrambled eggs, pretty much the only sauces associated with American breakfast are hollandaise, hot sauce, and sausage gravy. Sausage gravy is usually reserved for biscuits, while hollandaise sauce, an emulsification of butter and egg yolks, is typically served over eggs benedict. Including hot sauce, which is more of a condiment than an actual sauce, you can find all of these at most breakfast restaurants.

In kitchens in the deep south however, there's another breakfast staple that has both the versatility of hot sauce and the savory qualities of sausage gravy and hollandaise. It's called egg gravy, and according to Delish, it's a rich, white gravy that can add richness to any breakfast. 

Egg gravy is the type of sauce that is only homemade, so you won't find it jarred or in powdered packets at the grocery store. But it's relatively easy to make, and people in the south have been making it for generations.

What is egg gravy?

Egg gravy now falls into the category of southern comfort food, but the regional favorite was originally a Great Depression era recipe designed to make ingredients stretch. One of the first recorded recipes of egg gravy published in the 1930s cookbook "The Progressive Meatless" (via YouTube) calls for only three basic ingredients, including eggs, milk, and "a walnut-sized piece of butter." Salt and pepper could also be added to taste.

Since then, the recipe has evolved for the modern age. In the 1992 cookbook "Entertaining on the Jewish Holidays," a recipe for the sauce that incorporates parsley and heavy cream and substitutes the walnut for nutmeg, can be found. Other iterations of the gravy, Poor Man's Gourmet Kitchen points out, use flour to thicken the mixture and bacon grease instead of butter. Nowadays most recipes, like those shared by Deep South Dish and Food Network, call for mixing in chopped up hard boiled eggs instead of the traditional method of whisking in raw ones.

How to make egg gravy

According to the recipe published in "The Progressive Meatless," via YouTube, egg gravy is made by simply mixing eggs, milk, and melted butter. The three ingredients are then transferred into a pot with a pinch of salt and pepper, and heated until slightly thick. To make modern egg gravy, the process is slightly different due to the addition of flour and the use of hard boiled rather than raw eggs. Instead of mixing everything together all at once, you first whisk together the flour and fat, and once a roux forms, you slowly add the liquid, Food Network shares. After 10 to 15 minutes, the gravy will thicken, and at that point, you can incorporate the chopped hard boiled eggs.

The 1930s recipe for egg gravy suggested pouring the gravy over cooked potatoes, but can be served in a number of different ways. As Delish shares, egg gravy is good on it's own with a cup of coffee, as a substitute for sausage gravy, or even over a bed of torn pieces of toast, per Poor Man's Gourmet

No matter how you serve egg gravy, you can count on it to make any egg-based breakfast extra rich and savory.