Country Ham Biscuit

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Vandyland was a counter-and-booth sweet shop near Vanderbilt University in Nashville; a staff member once told us that its name came about when the owners bought what had been called Candyland and wanted to change signs with minimal expense. It was the ham biscuit that first won our hearts to this place, which finally closed its doors in 2006: classic buttermilk biscuits sandwiching sizzled pieces of quarter-inch thick country ham, each slice rimmed with amber fat. Of course, this fundamental sandwich can be dolled up in all sorts of ways: with mayo or mustard, with egg & cheese, etc.; but if the ham and biscuit are top-quality, no adornment is wanted.

1 piece country ham, sliced 1/4-inch thick, 3-4 inches across

1 warm buttermilk biscuit

Place the ham in a medium-hot cast iron skillet and cook until its fat is partially rendered and the surface turns red-gold.

Pry the biscuit into two halves (never cut a biscuit with a knife!) and insert the piece of ham.

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