This rich, luscious, flavorful gravy not only helped meat to stretch farther, but was also a wonderful way to use up milk (which could be quite plentiful at times!) and pairs beautifully with Drop Biscuits!
Break the sausage meat into small pieces and layer in a heavy skillet. No need to add oil or fat as it renders enough of its own (usually. . .unless you are using a low fat sausage, in which case you might need to add a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat or oil). (Note: some people just chuck the sausage in and break it up as you go into very small pieces, while others swear it's easier and quicker to tear it by hand first. . .experiment to see which you prefer. I have done both and don't really have a preference! It's effort either way!)
Brown over medium-high heat until all is broken up into small pieces and the meat is no longer pink. If you have a particularly fatty brand of sausage, remove the rendered fat until you have just enough left on the bottom so that it runs slightly when you tilt the pan, but not so much that the sausage is standing in oil. (about 2 tablespoons total in the pan plus what is on the meat).
Reduce heat to medium-low and sprinkle the about 3 tablespoons of the flour over the meat as evenly as you can (this will help reduce lumps!). Stir well and keep adding the rest of the flour bit by bit until you have as much as you can add before the sausage looks completely dry. Cook for a minute or two to brown the flour (which adds yet more flavor!!).
Add the milk, stirring constantly to avoid lumps until the first four cups of milk is incorporated. Make sure to scrape up the bottom of the pan as you go. . .not only does this prevent burning, but it also incorporates all the lovely browned bits of flavor into your gravy!
Keeping the heat on a low simmer, stir the gravy for about 8-12 minutes, until it thickens to your preferred consistency. Taste and season to your liking with salt and pepper. It should be a thick, rich consistency and richly flavored. If it gets over-thick, just add the remaining milk bit by bit until you are happy with the result. If it is too runny, keep simmering until it is perfectly reduced.
Serve with either Drop Biscuits or regular biscuits. Enjoy! (and then go for a walk to work off the calories!)