This is strawberry shortcake, all grown up! The classic dessert gets reimagined by adding bacon fat to the shortcakes, and a dash of balsamic vinegar to the strawberries. It’s still the strawberry shortcake you know and love, with a more modern twist!
Drop the bacon fat by tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet linked with parchment or waxed paper. Freeze the fat for at least 20 minutes, until it is firm. Preheat the oven to 425 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Add the cold bacon fat and use a pastry blender or two knives to cut it into the flour. Work it in until the flour is crumbly, with some pea-sized pieces of fat remaining.
Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour in the buttermilk. Stir with a fork, only until a shaggy dough forms. It's okay if there are still some dry spots. Pour the biscuit dough out onto your work surface and use your hands to knead it gently, to incorporate all of the dry flour. Pat it out into a layer about 1-inch thick, then fold it into quarters. Sprinkle with a little flour, and gently roll it out until it's a little less than 1-inch thick.
Use a 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut shortcakes out of the dough. Re-roll the scraps, and cut as many as possible. If using a 3-inch cutter, you should get 6 shortcakes out of the dough. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake shortcakes in the preheated 425 F oven for 16-18 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on top. Let cool completely before assembling.
Combine the sliced strawberries, granulated sugar, and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar in a bowl, and toss together. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then taste and add more vinegar if desired.
Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip until the cream holds medium peaks.
Slice each shortcake in half, and top with a big spoonful of juicy berries and a large dollop of whipped cream. Serve and enjoy immediately.
To obtain the bacon fat, fry at least a half-pound of bacon to get the bacon fat in a pan. Strain the resulting fat through a mesh strainer to remove any bacon bits, pour into a glass container, and chill in the refrigerator until solid.