Guest post by Kenneth Lowande
I have found that next to smoking, the most detrimental, habit-forming act a person can do is to memorize a biscuit recipe they like. For that reason, it is with great apprehension that I share the recipe below. At first, roasted root vegetables do not sound like a comfort food. They aren’t, unless you add pancetta (or “salty pork fat”), spice them up with some cayenne, and compliment them with a plate of cheddar biscuits. The cayenne provides just enough “kick” to balance the sweetness of the vegetables, and the cheddar biscuits remind you that there is a loving God. All told, this meal takes about an hour – though if you wanted to skip the veggies and go straight for the biscuits, 30 minutes will suffice.
Pancetta Roasted Root Vegetables:
- 3 large parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4 leeks, cleaned and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces (only use the white parts)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Black pepper
- Seasoning salt
- 4 oz. pancetta
Cheddar Biscuits (makes around 12 biscuits, or 8 large biscuits):
- 2 cups flour
- 2+ cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 3 tsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp Lawry’s seasoning salt (or sea salt + smoked paprika)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Add the potatoes and parsnips to roasting pan. Coat veggies with 2 tbsp olive oil and season with seasoning salt and cayenne as desired. It’s important that the veggies are coated evenly.
- Put the parsnips and sweet potatoes in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
- While they are in the oven, chop the leeks and the garlic and add to a small bowl.
- Combine with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add black pepper, cayenne, and seasoning salt to taste. Put the bowl in the refrigerator until later when we add it to the roasting pan.
- Now start prepping the biscuits. Mix the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine dry ingredients and cream until you have a moist dough. Be careful not to over-mix.
- Distribute the dough into biscuit sized gobs on a greased cookie sheet. Set cookie sheet aside.
- After the parsnips and sweet potatoes have cooked for 20+ minutes, pull the roasting pan out of the oven and add the garlic-leeks mixture and pancetta. Distribute evenly in pan and mix to spread seasoning.
- Put the pan back in oven. Put biscuits in the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes.
- After 15 minutes in the oven, remove the biscuits, sprinkle graded cheese over the tops, return to oven until brown on the edges.
- The biscuits are done when the edges start to barely brown and the veggies are ready when the pancetta gets crispy.
- Generally, I let the biscuits set for 3-5 minutes. At this point, they are at the greatest risk of being snatched by a dog who is the devil.