Sawmill Gravy

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

Sawmill gravy is a Southern favorite that incorporates cornmeal, creating a grainy texture that resembles sawdust. The addition of strong coffee and piquant hot sauce is traditional. This gravy is great paired with most turkeys, especially ones prepared with sweeter brines.


  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick/90 g) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup (90 g) minced sweet onion, such as Vidalia
  • 1/2 cup (90 g) fine cornmeal
  • 4 cups (1 l) roasted chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) strong coffee or espresso
  • 2 Tbs. hot sauce
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf


In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Cook the onion, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the cornmeal. Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the stock, coffee and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat and cook until slightly thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Off the heat, let stand for 5 minutes. Discard the herbs and serve. Serves 8.

Recipe by Shannon Walker, Preservationist & Beekeeper, Blackberry Farm