Barbecued Pork Hand Pies

Serving Size: 24

Biscuits are filled with slow-cooked pork shoulder with barbecue sauce and apples for a robust take on this summer classic. As always, semi-homemade substitutions make this a quick and easy meal.

For the slow-cooked pork

  • 4 Quart beef broth
  • 0.75 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsp chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 0.25 cup molasses
  • 4.5 Pound pork shoulder
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a large roasting pan with a lid, whisk together the broth, vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, Tabasco, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and molasses. Add the pork shoulder and cover the pan. Bake until the meat falls apart, about 5 hours. While the meat is roasting, prepare the dipping sauce and molasses apples.
  3. When the meat is done, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet to cool for easy handling, about 1 hour. If the braising liquid has not thickened, place the roasting pan on 2 burners and reduce the liquid over high heat until it reaches a thick consistency, about 40 minutes. At this point, add additional molasses, salt, pepper, or spices, if you like your barbecue sauce spicy.
  4. Shred the meat, making sure to discard any bones and fat. Mix the meat with 3 cups of the reduced sauce.

For the barbecue dipping sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 dried chiles
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp molasses
  • 0.5 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 large clove garlic, minced
  • 28 Ounce canned tomato, in juice
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 0.5 cup lemon juice
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until caramelized, 18-20 minutes, reducing the heat if they begin to burn. Add the tomatoes, ketchup, lemon juice, vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, Worcestershire, cloves, cinnamon, chiles, mustard, ginger, and paprika. Reduce the heat to low; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 hours. Let cool, about 1 hour, then pour the sauce into a blender and purée.

For the molasses apples

  • 1 cup apple juice or cider
  • 0.33 cup molasses
  • 1 Tbsp brandy
  • 0.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 0.125 tsp ground clove
  • 0.125 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 8 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  1. In a large pan, combine the juice, molasses, brandy, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg with 1 cup water; bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 5 minutes. Add the apples and return to a boil for 3 minutes. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring, until the apples are tender but still chunky and the mixture has thickened, about 25 minutes. Set aside.

For the assembly

  • nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
  • 28 Ounce canned buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 12-well classic cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Slice each uncooked biscuit round in 1/2, for a total of 48 rounds. Place 1 piece of dough in the bottom of each well. Fill each well with the pork mixture and 1 heaping tablespoon of the molasses apples. Top with the other biscuit 1/2. Sprinkle the tops with the cinnamon and sugar. Reserve any remaining apple mixture for serving. Bake until golden brown, 35-40 minutes, rotating the pans between oven racks halfway through baking.
  3. To unpan, loosen the sides of each hand pie with a table knife, then insert the tines of a fork between the pan and each pie to lift it out. Serve with the barbecue dipping sauce and molasses apples.
  4. Store the leftover hand pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat, wrapped in tin foil, for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Store the barbecue dipping sauce and leftover molasses apples in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator.

Recipe Credit: Hollis Wilder
Image Credit: Hollis Wilder