Preheat oven 450 degrees with the oven rack in the center.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in lard until it resembles small peas.
Stirring with a fork, gently add milk to make a soft dough. With floured hands knead dough gently 4 times in bowl.
Put dough on lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough to about ¼″ to ½″ thick.
Cut with a floured 2″ cutter. Place the cut- out biscuits about 1″ apart on ungreased baking sheet.
Lightly brush with butter if desired.
Bake on a large ungreased baking sheet, until biscuits are golden brown, about 12 minutes.