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.
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
Arrange the rounds on a baking sheet about 1 inch apart and
© 2007 All rights reserved. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.