[biscuits and sawmill gravy]

This is my altered version of a Paula Deen recipe, and it's not what anyone would call healthy - but it is the most delicious biscuit with gravy recipe I've ever tasted... totally worth every calorie. The diet starts tomorrow, right?
For Biscuits:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 to 1 ¼ cups milk
¼ cup melted unsalted butter 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cut in the shortening with a fork until it looks like cornmeal. Add the milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until well mixed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly two or three times. Roll out the dough with a floured rolling pin to ½-inch thickness. Cut with a 2-inch cutter. Place the biscuits in a greased iron skillet. Brush the biscuits with half the melted butter. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the hot biscuits with the remaining butter. Slit the biscuits in half and ladle Sawmill Gravy (recipe follows) over the hot biscuits. 

For Sawmill Gravy: 
1 pound ground sausage
4 slices thick-cut bacon
½ medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups half-and-half
2 tablespoons butter

In a large skillet, combine the sausage, bacon, onion, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until the sausage is browned and crumbles. Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the half-and-half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened. Stir in the butter until well blended.

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