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Episode 108: Hog Wild

Red-Eye Gravy


Red-Eye Gravy

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes about 3 cups


  • 3 tablespoons pork drippings or butter
  • 1 medium onion or 3 to 4 shallots, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 ounces Smithfield ham or Canadian bacon, cut into matchstick slivers
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 2 cups brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce or ketchup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Heat the pork drippings or butter in a cast iron skillet. Add the onion and ham and cook over medium-high heat until browned, 3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Step 2: Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the coffee and boil until reduced to 3/4 cup, 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with the wooden spoon to dissolve any burnt on meat juices.

Step 3: Stir in the tomato sauce, cream, Worcestershire, and sugar and simmer for 3 minutes. Add salt (you won’t need much—the ham is salty already) and pepper and additional sugar if desired to taste: the gravy should be highly seasoned.

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Steven Raichlen, a national barbecue treasure and author of The Barbecue! Bible, How to Grill, and other books in the Barbecue! Bible series, embarks on a quest to find the soul of American barbecue, from barbecue-belt classics-Lone Star Brisket, Lexington Pulled Pork, K.C. Pepper Rub, Tennessee Mop Sauce-to the grilling genius of backyards, tailgate parties, […]

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