Step 1Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Step 2In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut in the lard until it is reduced to pea-sized pieces. Stir in the buttermilk and 1 egg just to form a dough.
Step 3Remove the dough to a well-floured surface, and pat to a thickness of about 1 inch. Cut out biscuits using a 2-inch round cutter and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing the biscuits about 1 1/2 inches apart. The recipe makes about 1 dozen biscuits on the first pass. (Rolling the scraps can give you a dozen or more biscuits.) Beat the remaining egg with a few tablespoons of buttermilk to form the egg wash. Brush the biscuits with the egg wash, and sprinkle over the cracked pepper and fleur de sel.
Step 4Bake the biscuits until puffed and golden, 12 to 17 minutes, rotating the tray halfway for even baking.
Step 1In a dry skillet, cook the sausage over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the sausage is golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Add the shallot, garlic, black pepper, chile and thyme. Cook until the shallot is translucent and the herbs are aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 2Sprinkle the flour over and briefly cook, stirring to mix well, about 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle over the warm milk, whisking to mix well so lumps don't form; the milk will begin to thicken quickly. Bring the mixture down to a simmer and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired with salt before serving.