Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage, break it up with a wooden spoon, and cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned and cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to a bowl, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet. Whisk the flour into the fat and cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. While whisking, pour the milk into the skillet and bring the gravy to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2 minutes. Stir in the sausage and season with pepper. Split the biscuits in half and divide them among plates. Top each biscuit with some of the gravy and serve immediately.
To make the biscuits: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with two layers of parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Rub 2 tablespoons of the butter into the flour with your fingertips until completely absorbed. Work the remaining butter into the flour until it is in even pieces about the size of a pea. Gently stir the milk into the flour mixture to make a loose dough.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter. (For a flakier biscuit repeat the folding a second time.) Pat the dough into a 5 by 8-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a 2- to 3-inch round cutter to make 6 biscuits, and transfer them to the prepared baking sheet. Press together the scraps of dough and cut 2 more biscuits.
To make the glaze: Mix the cream and melted butter together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the tops of the biscuits with the glaze. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 8 biscuits
Copyright 2001 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved