Here is my variation:
Crumble two or three 1-pound rolls of good sausage — Oldham’s, Jimmy Dean, etc. — into a large cast-iron skillet and cook over medium-high heat until done. Drain all but a couple of tablespoons of oil from the sausage, leaving the sausage in the skillet. Add flour to the sausage and brown. (How much? I do it by eyeball, but half a cup is a good guess for starters.) As the flour browns, turn down the heat to medium. Start adding milk until gravy is a bit more liquid than you want it; allow to cook down to your desired consistency, and add pepper and other seasonings to taste.
THEN I heap the gravy onto a great pile of homemade mashed potatoes (which I prepared as the sausage browned and gravy reduced). Talk about comfort food. For me, this is it. Try it on a chilly fall day.