Friday, October 9, 2009

Southern Homestyle Tomato Gravy

A roux based gravy made with tomatoes is traditional served over biscuits, but can be served with meatloaf, over rice, or spooned on grits, alongside fish and with some hushpuppies.
A roux based gravy made with tomatoes is traditional served over biscuits, but can be served with meatloaf, over rice, or spooned on grits, alongside fish and with some hushpuppies.

Southern Homestyle Tomato Gravy

Southern Tomato Gravy is another one of our classic southern recipes, that goes great with those Sour Cream Biscuits I just posted a little earlier.  Totally different from what our Northeastern Italian neighbors call Sunday Tomato Gravy {what we Down South call Tomato Sauce, or Creole Gravy, or more often, just Spaghetti Sauce} meant for pasta.  This tomato gravy is the kind of gravy that us Southerners most traditionally love to eat over hot, and preferably homemade, southern buttermilk biscuits, like we do with our sausage gravy.

There are dozens of ways to make tomato gravy - this is just one of them - and, as with most southern gravy, this one starts off with a roux. Now don't freak out about the tomatoes and cast iron thing. I cook everything, including tomato, in my cast iron... with just a couple of very basic "rules." Here, we just need a nice light roux, but you'll still need to keep a close watch over it and stir constantly, making sure to also take in from around the outside edges of the skillet so it doesn't burn. You're going for a nice beige coloring.

From there it's just adding in the veggies, then the tomatoes, and if your tomatoes are nice and juicy, or if you're using home canned diced tomatoes, you may not need any additional liquid, though if I do need to add some, I often like using a little milk. Make some biscuits, or serve this over meatloaf, grits, mashed potatoes and even rice. So good!

Dig in!

If you love tomatoes, you will love tomato gravy spooned over hot biscuits too!  Give it a try and while you're at it, grab my recipe for homemade buttermilk biscuits, or mix it up and try these sour cream biscuits instead.

For more of my favorite ways to use fresh, garden tomatoes, visit my page on Pinterest!

If you make this or any of my recipes, I'd love to see your results! Just snap a photo and hashtag it #DeepSouthDish on social media or tag me @deepsouthdish on Instagram!


Recipe: Southern Homestyle Tomato Gravy

From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 10 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes, with juices retained (about 3 pounds), or equivalent canned
  • 1/4 cup butter or bacon fat
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons granulated or brown sugar
  • Kosher salt, freshly cracked black pepper and Cajun seasoning, to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk or water, only if needed, for desired consistency (see Cook's Notes)

Peel and dice the tomatoes, reserving the juices; set aside. In a large skillet, heat the butter or bacon fat over medium heat; stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until roux reaches a light beige color. Add the onion and green pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, continuously stirring. Add tomatoes, sugar and seasonings; simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, adding additional water or milk, only if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve over hot biscuits, with meatloaf, over rice, or spooned on grits alongside some fried catfish and with some hushpuppies on the side.

Cook's Note: If using fresh tomatoes that are juicy, or home canned tomatoes, you likely will not need any additional liquid. I love the creaminess from milk, however, plain tap water may also be substituted, if additional liquid is needed. May also substitute 2 (14.5 ounce) cans of stewed/diced tomatoes, undrained, or canned whole tomatoes, undrained, then chopped, for the fresh tomatoes. Use a pair of kitchen shears to chop the tomatoes up right in the can, or squish with your fingers. May also be made without the onion and bell pepper if desired.


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Posted by on October 9, 2009
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