American "biscuits", a staple in Southern cuisine, are similar to scones and are often served with a milk gravy. For a less rich alternative to the creamy gravy, try barbecue or chilli sauce.
- 335 g (2¼ cups) plain flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 60 g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water
- shredded lettuce, to serve
- 2 tbsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 800 g beef brisket
- 6 garlic cloves
- 80 ml (⅔ cup) red wine vinegar
- 60 g (¼ cup) beef dripping (see Note)
- 50 g (⅔ cup) plain flour
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 30 minutes
To make the shredded brisket, preheat oven to 150°C. Toast chilli flakes and cumin in a flameproof lidded roasting pan over low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Increase heat to high, then add oil, beef, garlic and 3 tsp salt, turning beef to coat in spices. Add vinegar and cook for 2 minutes or until almost evaporated. Add 1.5 litres water and bring to the boil.
Remove from heat, cover with foil, then the lid. Bake for 2 hours or until beef is meltingly tender. Stand for 30 minutes, then shred using 2 forks. Toss in pan juices, cover and set aside.
Meanwhile, to make the biscuits, preheat oven to 210°C. Process flour, baking powder, butter and ½ tsp salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Transfer to a bowl and stir in chives and enough milk until mixture forms a soft dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and shape into a ball. Shape into a 2 cm-thick disc and cut out 6 rounds using a 9 cm cutter, re-rolling scraps if necessary. Place onto an ungreased oven tray, 2 cm apart, and prick tops with a fork. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and biscuits sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. Keep warm.
To make the gravy, heat dripping in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour and ½ teaspoon of salt, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until golden. Gradually whisk in milk, whisking well after each addition, until smooth. Bring to the boil, then cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Cover surface with plastic wrap and keep warm until needed. Makes 2 cups.
To serve, cut biscuits in half and fill with lettuce, shredded brisket and milk gravy.
• Available from supermarkets and butchers.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 14, pg86.
Photography by Derek Swalwell