Yep, there are tons of recipes out there for breakfast casseroles; I’ve got scads of them myself. That said, I’m pretty darn sure I can throw all of them right out the window after having tasted this one….yes, it’s THAT good.
6-8slicesrye and pumpernickel bread, buttered on each side the number of slices needed will be determined on the brand of bread you are using
2cupswhipping cream (heavy cream)
2 1/2cupsshredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 lb. ground pork sausage, cooked and crumbled, fats drained
1/2 lb. ground pork sausage
1/2 cup butter, oil, or margarine
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
12 oz can evaporated milk
2-3 cups milk
red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to taste
Make the Breakfast Casserole
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream with 1 1/2 cups of the cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper, stirring well to combine.
Place the buttered bread across bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan; top the bread with half of the cooked sausage crumbles.
Pour the prepared egg mixture over the sausage layer, then top with the remaining half of the sausage; sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese over all.
Cover the casserole with foil, placing it into fridge to rest overnight, or 8-10 hours. **FYI – This is a very important step, I’ve discovered. Don’t be tempted to skip it if you desire a tender and delicate breakfast casserole.
When ready to bake, remove the breakfast casserole from the fridge and uncover; let the casserole rest on the counter for 40-45 minutes to remove the chill.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 30-35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into center comes out clean. (If the casserole is still clinging to the knife when you do this test, cook the casserole for an additional few minutes until the knife test is successful.)
When the casserole is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve topped with warm country gravy.
Make the Country Gravy
In a deep skillet, over medium heat, cook the ground pork sausage, letting the fats remain in the pan; add the butter or margarine letting it melt. Now add the flour, stirring constantly until this mixture turns from white in color to more of a tan color, cooking it just a minute or two. The mixture will be very thick and lumpy at this point. Remove the skillet from the heat - don't ever skip this step when making gravy if you want it to be lump-free each and every time.
Slowly add the evaporated milk, a little at a time, whisking constantly, never adding more milk until what you’ve already added is fully incorporated. Now whisk in the regular milk in the very same way.
Return the skillet of gravy to the burner over medium heat; season the gravy to taste with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, as desired, whisking the gravy until it’s creamy, thickened, and simmering. Reduce the heat to low to keep the gravy warm until it's time to eat.
Secrets to Success When Making a Breakfast Casserole
Whipping cream is your friend. While it's not easy on the waistline, it sure brings your pickiest eaters back for more every time. It adds a creamy, moist element to the casserole that won't dry out when you bake it. And the richness! Oooh... give me all the cream.Pumpernickel/rye bread with it's distinct bold flavors. This ingredient has a distinct bold flavor that makes this casserole stand out among all the others.Beauty rest! Once you mix up the casserole ingredients and place it into the baking dish, let beauty rest work it's miracles overnight. This is a very important step that makes the texture of this casserole light and tender - so worth it.