Saturday, June 1, 2013

BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
Since it's almost my birthday, we're going to focus on two of my favorite things. Evan and Biscuit. Just kidding. I mean, they are two of my favorite things. Not things, people. I mean... well, you know what I mean. But no, we're gonna focus on two of my favorite food things: pork and butter.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
And not just any pork... today we're talking about sweet and spicy BBQ pulled pork. With pineapple. And we're not just talking about dipping that saucy pork in butter. This isn't the Paula Deen show for cryin' out loud. Side note, my favorite Paula Deen moment ever is when she dips a bite of her sandwich in a melty stick of butter and says "Oops, y'all, my bite fell in the buttah!" Amazing. 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
But anyway, we were talking about pork and butter. Buttery, flakey pie crust, that is. Wrapped around BBQ pulled pork. In adorable, individual hand-pie form. Then dipped in butter. Just kidding. About the hand pies. No, I mean, about the butter dipping. Not about the hand pies.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
My birthday dream food: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies. Can I just have a stack of these with a candle in it for my birthday? Actually, that would be really cute, and I wish I had done it.

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

Plan ahead for this recipe (and read ahead). The pork takes less time than a whole roast (because I cut it into several smaller pieces) but still takes about 3 hours (to cook and cool), and the pie dough needs a few hours to chill. Also, so that my kitchen isn't all warm and toasty from the oven, I prepare the dough and stick it in the fridge prior to starting the pork (cold butter = good pie dough). This pork recipe will leave you will a bit of extra pork at the end. You can either make more pie dough, eat on sandwiches, or freeze for later. There's no such thing as "too much pork" in my book! 

Loves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand PiesLoves Food, Loves to Eat: BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies

BBQ Pulled Pork Hand Pies
Makes about 13 two-inch hand pies

1 recipe double-crust pie dough, chilled (see below)
1 recipe Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork, cooled to room temp (see below)
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 egg, whisked

Preheat oven to 425, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

Roll the dough into a 18" by 18" square. With a pastry wheel (or pizza cutter!), cut out 13 3X2 inch rectangles. You may have a bit of extra dough, just roll that out into additional rectangles.

Add a bit of cheese to half of a rectangle, and top with about 1.5-2 tablespoons of pork, being sure to leave an edge. Dip your finger in water, and lightly wet the dough edges of the rectangle, and fold the top half over the meat mixture. Using a for crimper, press along the edges to seal. With a sharp knife, gently and a vent slice to the top of each pie, and brush with the whisked egg. 
Bake in 2-3 batches for 15-18 minutes, until golden. Cool on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving. Can be eaten hot or cold
Pie Crust
Use your favorite pie dough recipe for a double crust pie. I used (and love) the all-butter crust from Smitten Kitchen. Prepare the dough and chill for at least 2 hours (while pork is cooking).

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork
5 lb pork roast (shoulder or butt)
3 slices smokey bacon, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bottle of hard cider (12oz)
1/2 apple cider vinegar
6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup crushed pineapple pieces or chunks
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Trim fat off pork, and cut into 3-inch pieces. Pat each piece dry with a paper towel, and salt and pepper each side. 

Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top, over medium heat. Add bacon, and cook until just crispy. Remove bacon and set aside, leaving grease in pot. Turn heat up to medium-high.

Add 2-3 of the pork pieces, sear each side, and remove. Don't overcrowd the pot, or you  won't get a good sear. Repeat with all the pork pieces. 

Once pork is cooked, turn heat back to medium, add onion and cook for a couple of minutes, until just starting to brown. Since the pot will be pretty hot from the pork, this won't take long. Pour in a splash of the hard cider (you'll get a lot of steam) to deglaze, and scrape the bits from the bottom of the pot.

Remove pot from the heat. Add bacon, pork, and remaining ingredients to pot, cover, and put in oven. Cook for 2-3 hours, until pork falls apart with a fork. Remove from oven, and with a fork, shred pork (right in pot) and mix together with the saucy mixture in the pot. Set aside to cool for 30 minutes to an hour. 

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