Making Life Delicious Since 1983

Put Some South in Your Mouth

I love traveling and trying new foods. Seeing the local culture and people.

There is a restaurant in Asheville, NC called Biscuit Heads and we recently stopped in for breakfast. You know you’re likely in for something good when there are line stations that wrap around the building side. Thankfully, the line moved fast.

The biscuits are the obvious star here. Huge, fluffy biscuits adorned with flavorful gravies, meat and egg toppings and homemade jams are the reason for the lines.

These are called Cathead biscuits and are a Southern staple whose name refers to their large size (about as big as a cat’s head).

You can make your own Biscuit Heads Cathead Biscuit (recipe credit:  Cooking by the Book/ Biscuit Head by Jason and Carolyn Roy [Voyageur Press, 2016]

The Classic Cathead Biscuit

Yield: 6 large biscuits or 8-10 smaller one


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (we use White Lily brand)
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour (we use King Arthur brand)
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 8 tablespoons [1 stick] butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 cups whole buttermilk (no buttermilk on hand? Try our powdered mix )


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F, making sure you have one of the racks in the middle of the oven. Grease a baking sheet or cast-iron skillet (pan spray works fine).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine both kinds of flour, the kosher salt, and the baking powder. We strongly recommend sifting the dry ingredients to combine them.
  3. Add the butter by dividing it into to small pieces, half the size the end of your little finger. You do not want the butter to melt or soften in your hand. You do want the butter to release steam as the biscuit cooks. That steam adds to the airiness and lightness of your final biscuit product.
  4. Add the buttermilk and stir very gently to fold it in. Take care not to overmix! Scoop the dough into your pan or skillet, making sure to keep the dough scoops right next to each other on the pan. We use a large ice cream scoop whether we’re at the restaurant or at home.
  5. Bake the biscuits for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden brown and fluffy.

Red Eye Gravy

Other names for this sauce include poor man’s gravy, bird-eye gravy, bottom sop, cedar gravy, and red ham gravy. The gravy is made from the drippings of pan-fried country ham mixed with black coffee. This recipe is also from Biscuit Heads and is great paired with the cat heads biscuits!

(recipe credit:


  • 4 cups of your favorite coffee (old coffee is fine)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 oz. chopped country ham
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses


  1. In a medium-sized cast iron skillet, combine ham and water. Turn on the heat to medium and let the mixture start to warm. Continue to cook ham over medium heat until all water has evaporated from the pan, in effect rendering the fat. Once the water is cooked out, let ham crisp slightly in its own fat.
  2. Add chopped onions and garlic to pan and sauté until it starts smelling amazing but not long enough to brown. Add molasses, stirring until it reaches a slight bubble. Add coffee, bring back to a simmer and it’s ready to serve.
  3. Chef’s Note: Country ham has a very distinct flavor that is not easily substituted with any other product. Check with your local butcher or online for this product, but if you absolutely can’t get it and need a substitution you can use prosciutto. Just don’t tell your Southern friends!

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