We show you how to make ham with red eye gravy, that fabled Southern classic made with pan drippings, coffee, brown sugar, and a couple other everyday pantry staples.
What Is country ham?
Country ham, popular in the deep South, results from dry-curing and smoking ham. The technique relies heavily on salt and, as such, what results has a lingering saltiness that’s quite intense. Country ham is less common today than in the past but is still available. It’s typically either used in ham with red eye gravy as here or thinly sliced and sandwiched in biscuits.
Ham with Red Eye Gravy Recipe
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 10 M
- 15 M
- Serves 2
Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and cook the ham steak until browned on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes.
Use a fork or tongs to plonk the ham steak on a plate. Keep the skillet over medium-high heat. You should have 1/2 to 1 tablespoon drippings left in the skillet along with some small pieces of ham.
Sprinkle the flour over the drippings and stir until well combined. Add the coffee and whisk to thicken the gravy. Add the butter, salt, pepper, and hot sauce and whisk until incorporated. Add the brown sugar and whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble.
Taste the gravy for accuracy, season if necessary, and add more hot sauce if you’re brave. Serve alongside the ham or pour it over the top. Originally published January 16, 2016.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Red eye gravy is an old family favorite that I've eaten all my life. This recipe is almost the very same as the one that my grandmother made. YUMMMMMM!
The ham steak didn't produce a lot of drippings, but I added the flour anyway and stirred. Once the coffee was added, it mixed nicely and thickened within a few minutes. Then I added the butter, pepper, and hot sauce. I didn't add salt since the ham steaks were already sufficiently salty. I'm not familiar with adding brown sugar, but I did anyway to stick with the recipe. I served this for breakfast with biscuits and eggs.
This red eye gravy recipe gets a hearty bravo from me for its awesome rustic flavor.
I find that country ham is far too salty for my aging and sensible palate but this gravy is so tasty that I found it difficult to not sneak it right from the gravy boat! The star here is the wonderful red eye gravy. I promise I'll forgo the country ham but will certainly whip up this red eye gravy with a simple ham steak or even biscuits and sausage. You will need nearly a tablespoon of all-purpose flour to thicken a whole cup of coffee.