The traditional American biscuit is similar to our scone, but
it's generally used in a savoury way and makes the perfect partner
to ham and pickles. Start the piccalilli at least two days
50 gmlard200 gmthickly sliced leg hamTo serve:mintButtermilk biscuits300 gm(2 cups) plain flour1½ tspwhite sugar2 tspbaking powder½ tspbicarbonate of soda55 gm(¼ cup) softened butter, plus extra melted, for brushing50 gm(¼ cup) lard185 ml(3/4 cup) buttermilk, shaken wellCauliflower piccalilli1 kgcauliflower50 gmfine sea salt30 gmcornflour10 gm eachturmeric and mustard powder15 gmbrown mustard seeds1 tsp eachdried chilli flakes, cumin seeds and coriander seeds600 mlcider vinegar150 gmwhite sugar50 gmhoney
For cauliflower piccalilli, cut cauliflower into small florets and mix well with salt in a large bowl. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours to draw out moisture. Rinse under cold running water and drain. Mix cornflour and spices with 2 tbsp vinegar in a bowl to a smooth paste. Bring remaining vinegar, sugar and honey to the boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp hot vinegar mixture to the cornflour mixture and stir until smooth, then return to pan. Bring to the boil and stir continuously until thickened (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat, add cauliflower, mix well, then spoon into a warm sterilised 1 litre jar and seal. Refrigerate for at least a day or up to a year.
For buttermilk biscuits, preheat oven to 200C and line a baking oven tray with baking paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp sea salt in a food processor, add butter and lard, and pulse to fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl, add buttermilk and stir to combine, then turn out on a lightly floured surface and gently knead to bring dough together. Roll out to 3cm thick, then cut out eight 7cm rounds with a biscuit cutter and place on prepared tray. Brush tops with melted butter and bake until golden (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool. Makes 8.
Cook ham in lard in a large frying pan over high heat until caramelised (1-2 minutes each side). Serve scattered with cauliflower piccalilli and mint, with buttermilk biscuits, warm or at room temperature, for sandwiching.