Updated: May 22
Years ago, my family and I moved to Richmond and we were introduced to Virginia country ham by our new neighbors, who brought us a welcome basket of ham biscuits. To this day, I still have a strong memory of this kind act as well as the amazing taste of this new treat. Years have passed but Virginia ham remains a truly special and unique meat for me. I was once told that the reason for the special taste was because the hogs are fed peanuts. I also believe that the smoking and curing process gives Virginia ham its distinct sweet and salty character.
During my early years here in Richmond a friend introduced me to red-eye gravy when she hosted a brunch. While I don’t make my red-eye gravy that often, when I do it brings back memories of my friend, and our time spent in the kitchen with her teaching me how to deglaze the pan with the coffee.
Feel free to substitute the country ham with Canadian bacon but if you do, realize that it won’t be as salty so you may miss the flavor combination of salt which helps to balance the bitterness of the coffee. Another substitute can be Prosciutto. A great online source for purchasing Virginia country ham is Edwards.
This recipe is a perfect breakfast food served alongside eggs (especially fried) and potato hash.
2/12 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
6 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup or a small gala apple, peeled and cubed
1 packet Country Ham slices ( I used Edwards uncooked, country ham)
1/2 cup brewed coffee
Yield: 8 biscuits
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minuites
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, yeast and baking soda.
Cut in the cold butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Add in the cubed apples. Mix in the buttermilk. Form into a ball. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat oven 425°F.
When ready to use, remove the dough. Shape the dough with your hands into a disk about 1/2 thick. Use a round cutter (I used a 2.5 inch round cutter). Place the biscuits on a baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes.
In a saucepan, cook the ham and medium heat. Once cooked, remove and set aside.
Deglaze the saucepan with the brewed coffee. Cook for 2 minutes to reduce the sauce.
Cut the biscuits in half, top with a ham slices.
Serve with the red-eye gravy.