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 ahead.
- 50 gm lard
- 200 gm thickly sliced leg ham
- To serve: mint
- 300 gm (2 cups) plain flour
- 1½ tsp white sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 55 gm (¼ cup) softened butter, plus extra melted, for brushing
- 50 gm (¼ cup) lard
- 185 ml (3/4 cup) buttermilk, shaken well
- 1 kg cauliflower
- 50 gm fine sea salt
- 30 gm cornflour
- 10 gm each turmeric and mustard powder
- 15 gm brown mustard seeds
- 1 tsp each dried chilli flakes, cumin seeds and coriander seeds
- 600 ml cider vinegar
- 150 gm white sugar
- 50 gm honey
- 1For 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.
- 2For 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.
- 3Cook 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.
Drink Suggestion: Refreshing cold pilsner. Drink suggestion by Max Allen