Smoked Tomato Gravy
photograph by Matt Hulsman

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

½ pound thick-sliced bacon
1 small onion, or ½ cup chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable stock
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
6 to 8 hot biscuits, split

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Set bacon aside. Add onions to bacon drippings and cook for 5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Stir in flour, salt, and cayenne; cook over low heat until mixture is golden brown. Gradually add vegetable stock and tomatoes; stir well. Add sugar and paprika.

Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve over biscuits and garnish with crumbled bacon.

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Lynn Wells is a personal chef with more than 20 years of experience in the food and hospitality industry and a degree in Nutrition Management from UNCG.