Biscuits and gravy

A breakfast treat, freshly baked biscuits and gravy over a poached egg at Sqirl Cafe. (Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times / April 20, 2013)

Mangalitsa lard biscuits and sausage gravy

1 hour, 10 minutes. Serves 4 to 6

Lard biscuits

5 1/2 cups (23.4 ounces) flour

3 tablespoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

12 ounces cold lard (Sqirl uses lard rendered from Mangalitsa pigs)

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, plus extra for the egg wash

2 eggs, divided

Cracked pepper and fleur de sel

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the lard until it is reduced to pea-sized pieces. Stir in the buttermilk and 1 egg just to form a dough.

3. Remove the dough to a well-floured surface, and pat to a thickness of about 1 inch. Cut out biscuits using a 2-inch round cutter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 11/2 inches apart. The recipe makes about 1 dozen biscuits. Beat the remaining egg with a few tablespoons of buttermilk to form the egg wash. Brush the biscuits with the egg wash, and sprinkle over the cracked pepper and fleur de sel.

4. Bake the biscuits until puffed and golden, 12 to 17 minutes, rotating the tray halfway for even baking.

Sausage gravy

1 pound breakfast or standard pork sausage, crumbled

1 shallot, small dice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon black pepper