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red-eye gravy n

A reddish, usu unthickened, gravy made from the drippings of ham or other cured meat.

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  • 1945 SW Rev. 30.143 TN, Pinky brown slices of cured ham that almost floated in red-eye gravy.
  • 1957 Hall Coll. wNC, Red-eye gravy, when you fry ham, let it burn on the skillet a little; use a little water or coffee.
  • c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Red-eye gravy: . . Ham gravy with red globules of fat on top.
  • 1962 Natl. Geogr. Mag. July 84 eTN, “Red-eye gravy” was ham or sausage juice and water.
  • 1965–70 DARE
    Qu. H37, . . Words . . for gravy
    52 Infs, chiefly Sth, S Midl, Red-eye gravy; 11 Infs, chiefly Sth, S Midl, Red-eye; GA88, TN57, Red-eyed gravy; KY5, Reddy gravy—ham; red-eyed gravy—ham, old-fashioned; IL91, Red-eye ham gravy.
  • 1971 Today Show Letters Sth, Red-eyed gravy—Made by adding strong coffee to ham grease.
  • 1973 DARE File Ozarks (as of c1910), Redeye. . . Gravy made of ham drippings and milk.
  • 1975 McDonough Garden Sass 73 AR, All Arkansans, both yesterday and today, have used the meat from the hogs to make two of their favorite kinds of gravy. With the ham goes “redeye gravy” . . delicious as a sop for hot biscuits or cornbread.
  • 1977 Anderson Grass Roots Cookbook 103 cnNC, The Red-Eye Gravy isn’t ladled over the ham but over hot biscuits, split in half, or over boiled rice or hominy grits. . . Put the ham slices on a warm platter, pour the drippings into a small heatproof bowl and add the coffee to the skillet. Bring quickly to a simmer, scraping up from the bottom all browned bits (these are the “red eyes”).
  • 1986 Pederson LAGS Concordance Gulf Region, 24 infs, Red-eye gravy [10 infs specified that it is made from ham, 2 that it is thinned with coffee].
red-eye gravy + varr (Qu. H37)