Ham and Grits Biscuits

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes about

    20

    biscuits

Appears in

The Glory of Southern Cooking

The Glory of Southern Cooking

By James Villas

Published 2007

  • About

Some of the best biscuits I’ve put in my mouth have been found at humble diners, and none is more memorable than these husky ones served one morning with soft scrambled eggs at a sleek, chrome-trimmed beanery on the road from Covington, Virginia, to Charleston, West Virginia. No doubt this style of biscuit originally came about as a way to use up a mess of leftover grits and fried country ham, a tricky proposition unless you know to use enough baking powder and lard to lighten the dough. (Do not use butter.) Unlike conventional baking powder biscuits, these don’t have to be pampered too much, meaning you’re free to knead the dough till it’s nicely pliable.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup regular grits (not instant)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chilled lard
  • ½ cup whole or 2 percent milk, or as needed
  • ¼ cup finely diced cured country ham

Method

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cook the grits according to the package directions and let cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the lard and rub it in with your fingertips till the mixture is mealy. Stir in the milk, then beat in the grits and the ham with a wooden spoon till well blended, adding more milk if necessary for a smooth dough.

Transfer the dough to a slightly floured work surface and knead 3 to 4 times or till pliable. Pat out ½ inch thick and cut out rounds with a 2-inch biscuit butter. Pat the scraps together and cut out more rounds.

Arrange the rounds on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake in the upper third of the oven till golden brown, about 12 minutes. Serve hot.