Barber's sausage gravy

1 pound breakfast sausage

2 Tbs butter

4 Tbs. flour

2 1/2-3 c whole milk

Salt and pepper

Red pepper flakes 

Crumble sausage into a hot cast iron skillet and brown over medium heat. I use a whisk to break the sausage into fine pieces. I add a little crushed red pepper flakes to the sausage. Once it’s browned, remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan. You’ll want 4 Tbs of fat to make your roux (plus all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan). I leave about 2 Tbs of sausage grease and add another 2 Tbs of butter. Once the butter has melted, gradually sprinkle 4 Tbs of flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Stir for a couple of minutes to cook the flour taste out and eliminate any lumps. (If you continue to cook the roux the flour and butter will toast and brown, producing a brown roux.) Still working over medium heat (although you might have had to adjust it), add the milk slowly, stirring as you go until it’s all incorporated. Let it come to a simmer and assess the thickness of your gravy. You can add more milk if you want it thinner. Return the sausage to the gravy, stir to combine and add lots of fresh black pepper. Add salt if needed. Serve over hot, split biscuits.