Virginia Ham Biscuit

Virginia-Ham-Biscuits-The-Races-30Yields 8

Virginia ham biscuits. A southern staple. Brunch, lunch, dinner, tailgate party, reception…whatever the occasion, you’ll find these simple, tasty sandwiches on the menu.

Prep Time  15 min     Cook Time 12 min

Ingredients

  1. Classic Buttermilk Biscuits
  2. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 4 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons, cold, unsalted butter (cut in small pieces)
  8. 2 tablespoons duck fat (or lard)
  9. 3/4 to 1 cup cold, whole buttermilk
  10. 1 pound Virginia Ham, thinly sliced
Condiment of your choice
  1. Honey mustard (1/4 cup whole-grain mustard, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon dijon)
  2. Plain mustard (whole-grain or dijon recommended)
  3. or…get creative…
  4. Caramelized onion jam
  5. Your favorite chutney (fruit chutneys pair nicely)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar together into a large bowl. Blend the butter pieces and duck fat (or lard) into the dry mixture with a pastry blender (or two knives) until you achieve a course meal with flakes of butter/fat throughout.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, then slowly pour the buttermilk in the center while stirring the flour into the “pool” of buttermilk. Depending on the humidity levels, it may only take 3/4 cup buttermilk (rainy or very humid day) to 1 cup buttermilk (clear, dry day). Stir in the buttermilk until a dough forms and no dry pieces are left, but it should not be overly wet either.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter (between 2-3 inches…I use a 3 inch cutter for bigger biscuits) to cut out rounds and place on a cookie sheet. Gather dough, form, rollout, and cut out biscuits until you’re out of dough. Don’t over handle the dough as the butter starts to melt. You can dust a little flour over the dough if it gets too sticky.
  5. Place the biscuit rounds on the cookie sheet so they are lightly touching one another. They’ll help each other “climb” as they bake. Friendly biscuits…
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the biscuits have risen and the tops have started to brown. Remove from the oven, brush with melted butter (if desired).
  7. When slightly cooled from the oven, slice the biscuits open, pile high with thinly sliced Virginia ham, spread honey mustard (or condiment of your choice) on the top biscuit half, and enjoy! Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from The Southerner’s Cookbook

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