Biscuits and Optional Gravy
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- To make the biscuits, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar into a medium bowl. Stir in the sugar with a spoon. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, blend in the shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the milk with a fork until the dough is soft but not sticky.
- Place the dough on a floured board and knead it for a minute or so. Roll it out to a thickness of 1 1/4 inches and cut it into biscuits with a 2-inch round cutter or the rim of a small water glass. Arrange the biscuits 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
- Bake the biscuits for 18 to 20 miniutes, until lightly browned on top. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and set the biscuits aside.
- To make the gravy, cook the sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat until browned, about 8 minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the meat and stir with a spoon until blended. Stir in the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until thickened. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cut biscuits in half horizontally and place them cut side up on plates. Spoon the gravy over the biscuits and serve immediately.