You never really realize how much you miss down-home cooking until you go weeks without it. While spending a month abroad, I didn’t eat one biscuit or a single piece of fried chicken. Sweet tea was almost something like a mirage and breakfast favorites like biscuits and gravy were out of the question. And while I love immersing myself in the culture’s cuisine fully (I even ate moose and fermented rye pudding), I always love to share some of my favorite foods with my international friends.
Two years ago while living in Sweden my sister and I set up an entire Thanksgiving dinner, turkey and all, for all of our friends. This visit I decided to make something I knew my friend Emelie would have never even seen before: biscuits and gravy.
How To Make Biscuits and Gravy in Finland
To make sure the experience was perfect I decided to pair the biscuits and gravy with hash browns and a fried egg. Writing down the grocery list, I turn to my friend Emelie, who’s lived in Finland her entire life, and ask, “Does breakfast sausage exist here?”
The answer was no, which meant that we had to make our own breakfast sausage. Thankfully ground pork is readily available in the grocery stores along with spices, but unfortunately when we got to the store the only ground pork available was mixed with 20 percent ground beef. “It’s the closest we’ll get!” I cheerfully stated, tossing the package into the cart.
Once we had accumulated all of the necessary ingredients, it was a quick drive back home to begin our brinner. Yes, breakfast for dinner.
Time to Begin
We started with the biscuits. After a short math problem of converting all of the measurements to kilograms and fahrenheit to celsius, we were good to go.
Once the butter was cut in (using our fingers of course) I made a mixture of milk and lemon juice to mimic buttermilk, a non-existent ingredient in Finland. We kneaded the dough and used juice glasses to cut out the biscuits. No fancy biscuit cutters needed here.
After the biscuits made their way into the oven it was time to move on to the gravy. Since we didn’t have breakfast sausage, it was inevitable that we make our own. A sprinkling of salt, pepper, sage, thyme, cloves and red pepper flakes turned this plain ground meat into delicious breakfast sausage. We heated the pan and after browning off the pork and beef we added flour to create a roux then slowly poured in milk to create the creamy gravy.
A quick juggling of pans and we fried up some eggs and hash browns. All that was left was to sit down and enjoy the meal.
The verdict– “Absolutely delicious!” Emelie pronounced smiling. It was a bit heavier than the usual breakfast of yogurt, fruit and assorted meats and cheeses but Emelie agreed it was the perfect way to start the day. In between bites she asked, “Will you make sure to give me the recipe?”
Ask and you shall receive. Below is the recipe that we used for our Finnish biscuits and gravy. Since we didn’t have all the ingredients (like breakfast sausage and buttermilk), this is a great recipe to use if you are in the same situation.