Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes
To make the biscuits:
1. Preheat the oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Cube the shortening or butter, then cut it into the dry ingredients. You can do this by hand with a pastry blender or with your food processor, Pulse until it becomes crumbly and resembles peas.
3. Stir in the cold buttermilk, just until the dough is thoroughly moistened. Sometimes I use 3/4 cup and sometimes as much as 1 cup of buttermilk. The dough shouldn't be overly wet, but, slightly sticky.
4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface about 3/4 inches thick and cut into rounds. Brush off an excess flour.
5. Brush the tops with melted butter or heavy cream and bake at 450°F for 13-15 minutes until lightly golden and puffy. Yield: 8  inch biscuits or 10  inch biscuits
To make the gravy:
6. Place the sausage in a heavy bottomed pan or cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until no pink remains. Break the sausage up with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until browned.
7. Drain all but 3 tablespoons of drippings from the pan. Sprinkle the all-purpose flour over the sausage. Stir until the sausage is coated continuing to cook until lightly browned. Season with the salt and black pepper.
8. Over medium-high heat begin adding the milk, stirring constantly. Add 4 cups, adding more as needed to thin to your desired texture.
9. After all of the milk has been added, bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10. Serve immediately over hot biscuits with a sprinkle of black pepper.