Cut shortening into flour with a pastry blender or fork until crumbly. Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead lightly 3 or 4 times. Pat or roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness; cut with a 2-inch round cutter, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake at 475° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
Sour Cream Biscuits: Substitute 1 (8-ounce) container sour cream for 2/3 cup milk. Proceed as directed.
Ham-and-Swiss Cheese Biscuits: Stir 2/3 cup finely chopped ham and 2/3 cup finely chopped Swiss cheese into the flour and shortening mixture; add milk, and proceed as directed.