Country Ham With Red-Eye Gravy

Learn how an old, simple cleaning trick turned out to be a culinary innovation.


  • 4 slices thick-cut country ham
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter, as needed
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Biscuits or cheesy grits for serving
  • Fried egg for serving


  1. Start by brewing your cup of joe. Sip and repeat until ready to get cooking!
  2. Using a sharp paring knife, score ham slice to prevent it from curling up in the pan.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and cook ham until caramelized on both sides, about 10-12 minutes. Remove and set aside while preparing your gravy.
  4. Turn heat up, pour in your coffee and bring to a boil, scraping up any bits of ham that may have accumulated on the pan. Stir in brown sugar until melted and cook until reduced in thickness.
  5. Serve hot, smothered on top of your choice of biscuits or grits along with your ham and fried egg.