This recipe starts by making a gravy in an oven-safe pot on the stovetop. The gravy is then covered with an easy one-bowl biscuit topping, and baked to golden, bubbly perfection. The mixture can be made ahead: Just refrigerate the gravy in the pot and keep the biscuit topping in its mixing bowl, covered and refrigerated. When ready to serve, crumble the topping over the gravy and bake.
For the gravy: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is well browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Increase the heat to high and stir in the broth, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the broth is almost entirely evaporated.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When melted, sprinkle the flour over the surface of the pot and cook, stirring constantly, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once the mixture simmers it should noticeably thicken. Stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and cover the pot.
For the biscuit topping: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne together in a medium bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Make a well in the center of the ingredients and add the buttermilk and egg. Whisk the mixture slightly with a fork, then mix it into the flour mixture until evenly combined.
Remove the lid from the pot and crumble the biscuit mixture evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with the cheese if using. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the biscuits are set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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