Friday, January 18, 2013

Coal Fired Pulled Pork Hand Pies and a Giveaway

January 23rd is National Pie Day.  How in the world the American Pie Council did not choose March 14th for that day escapes me.  Anyway, in honor of the upcoming National Pie Day, I made pies.

We had our first snow storm in two years yesterday and Trevor and his teenaged friends spent last night and today having a blast in the white stuff.   Here are three truths about Tennessee snow:
  1. It makes my Florida friends and family jealous of "all that snow".
  2. It makes Tennesseans incapable of driving.
  3. It makes all my Northern friends laugh and ask, "You call THAT snow?"
I knew the kids were going to be hungry so I made up a batch of these pork pies based on a recipe for BBQ Chicken Empanadas from Greg Henry's new book - Savory Pies.

Coal Fired Pork Hand Pies

adapted from the book Savory Pies by Greg Henry

Ingredients (serves 8)
  • 1 recipe pie crust
  • 1/2 lb pulled or chopped BBQ pork
  • 4 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup fire roasted sweet bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Anaheim chile, fire roasted, seeded, peeled and diced (or 1 oz diced green chile)
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sweet BBQ sauce
  1. Whisk the egg and water together to make an egg wash, set aside.
  2. Mix together everything else, except the dough.
  3. Divide the pie crust dough into 8 equal balls. On a dusted surface, roll out balls into 6" circles.
  4. Top each circle with 3-4 heaping tablespoons of the BBQ mixture.
  5. Lightly brush one edge with the egg wash. Fold the other edge over the meat mix and to the washed edge. Press the two edges together and crimp with a fork to seal in the meat mixture. Cut two shallow slits on the top. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.
  6. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat a charcoal grill set up for an indirect cook at 425f. Place pizza stone in.
  8. Brush the hand pies with any remaining egg wash and place on the pizza stone.
  9. Bake on the grill until the crusts are crispy and golden, about 25-30 minutes.
  10. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
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I like using the mini-sweet bell peppers when available for the variety of color.

I made my first pie crust ever and it was easy thanks to the book.

The crusts don't have to be perfectly round.

If you want perfect, you can trim the edges with a sharp knife at this point.

The pizza stone is raised off of the plate setter by a set of 1/4" spacers (just some metal pieces).

If you have extra meat filling left over, stick it in a tortilla for a quesadilla.
Keep them on a raised rack while hot so the bottoms don't steam and get soggy.

They were excellent and disappeared quickly!

Savory Pies and a Giveaway
When I heard that Greg Henry was going to release his first book, I quickly pre-ordered it on Amazon.  Soon after that, I also got a review copy from the publisher, so I have a copy to give away.  

But first, my thoughts about the book.  I have to be honest, I rarely read long narratives about food related books and I doubt you do either.  So I'm going to stick to a quick bulletized review.

  • The book is about everything BUT dessert pies.  Savory tarts, triangles, galettes, pizzettes, bocaditos, pot pies, pasticcio, flat breads, tarte tatin, shakshuka, clafouti and more.  These pies are meals!
  • Savory Pies starts off by arming you with 5 basic pastry recipes that are utilized throughout the book or with your own creation.  
  • I've never made a pastry crust in my life, Alexis has always handled that for us.  But I followed the book and was successful on the first try.  It was easy as... (not going to say "pie")
  • The book is organized into appetizer pies, main course meat pies, main course vegetarian pies, and ends with 15 hand pies like the ones I did here.   Some of the many recipes that I want to try include:
    • Cotija Cheese Bocaditos with Charred Chiles
    • Bite Sized Beef Wellingtons
    • Shrimp and Grits Pot Pies
    • Corn Pudding Pie with Chiles and Chicken
    • Tilly's Pastelles
  • Savory Pies is stuffed with plenty of full color photos of the recipes. 
  • The recipes travel the country, the world and even time.  
  • It is not just recipes.  Greg has a unique way of educating you without realizing you are being taught.
  • Wine parings are provided throughout the book by SippitySup's wine expert, Grant Henry.
  • The book is good for people who like to follow recipes but then it is also good as an idea book.  Several times, I found myself thinking, "I wouldn't have even thought of that, great idea, I have to try something like that!"
  • Bottom line:  My money was well spent.
So I have the extra copy to give away to one lucky reader.  The giveaway runs between now and Thursday, January 24th, 2012 (EST).   Just leave a comment below and tell me your favorite pie (it can be savory or dessert pies).   If you use the anonymous option to comment, be sure to leave a way that I can contact you (email, forum screen name, etc).  

Giveaway Now Closed 
The winner was #12, Zan C of Texas!  

I think Zan is the first two time giveaway winner on my blog but I could be mistaken.  Zan, I will email you to verify your address hasn't changed.


  1. Oh my, I am the first comment. Does that mean I get the book? Does it? Does it? Does it? My favorite pie is pumpkin.

  2. Do I have to choose just one? My favorite would have to be Lemon Meringue... Or maybe Boston Cream... No, no, no... Key Lime. That's it. I am sure. Unless you consider Peanut Butter Pie, or Cherry-Blueberry Pie.

  3. Your empanadas look great Chris. I enjoy Greg's blog very much and you are right about his doing a great job of teaching. Count me in on the give-away. I haven't had a good empanada since we left Texas years ago.

    I saw your snow pictures on FB. Sounds like Trevor and his friends really enjoyed it.

  4. I'm reading this before breakfast and am now hungry for a meat pie. Sounds like a good book, but leave me out of the drawing so it will go so someone who will put it to good use.

  5. Snow is snow, but I'm still laughing. I think here in Colorado we would refer to that as a "flurry". These meat pies look impressive Chris. I love all the combinations. Being pastryphobic I'd love to try these with a purchased pie crust. (Yes, I just typed that out loud)
    And congrats to Greg on his book. I'd love to win a copy. And too funny, how did they choose Jan. 24????

  6. Sorry, forgot, my favorite pie is warm peach with a big dollop of vanilla ice cream melting all over the top.

  7. You KNOW that book has MY name written all over it!! My favorite pie? ANY! Duh...I owe my thighs to pie! When cut I bleed chocolate cream! And, if that's not enough reason for you to wrap up that book right now and send it my way, I will confess, in this open forum, to having a penchant for savory pies...that's right a penchant...I've made them, eaten them and even dreamed of them! If I had a pie flag I'd proudly wave it! Pie for President!

  8. My favorite pie is pumpkin. Would love to try making some savory pies.

  9. My favourite pie is saskatoon berry pie. It is a regional favourite in Western Canada. But I really want to learn how to make savoury pies and would love to win this cookbook!

  10. Chicken pot or your pork pie. I just got an empanada cooker/maker and this book would really help me to learn to make them! I am going to try this pork pie recipe. I love pork, BBQ and chilies so ...perfection

  11. My mosta favorite pie isa de pizza pie! Molto buona!

  12. My favorite is apple pie... atthemapletable at yahoo dot com

  13. Definitely pecan pie with a little splash of bourbon.

  14. Pasty~the Michagander wayand chicken pot pie

  15. My favorite pie is a cherry cream cheese pie

  16. pasty and chicken pot pie

  17. savory pies are the way to go! those pulled pork pies are the bomb!

    chicken pot pie for dinner and coconut cream pie for dessert would be my fave :)

  18. Favorite savory pie is the Cornish pastie. Outside the occasional stuffed pistolette, I had never had a savory pie until I had a Cornish pastie on my trip to England this past summer. Delicious. Savory Pies is just the book I need to duplicate this flavor-filled pie for my family. (Sweet pie? Pecan!)

  19. My favorite pie of course for me is sweet and it is peanut butter pie. Nothing better than this and chocolate syrup drizzled on top!

  20. Great post! My favorite pie is strawberry rhubarb. I might have to make some on the grill like this!

  21. MY favorite is probably chicken pot pie, heavy on the crisp green peas, carrots and onions! My college-age son's fave is toasted pecan pie. We made a lot of food for Hurricane Sandy Victims and shared with them at Queens, NY (near Kennedy Airport) American Legion hall. We gave out hugs, care, concern with our food gladly. Thanks to all who came out of NY's wet darkness to help one another in the time since Sandy hit ground. God Bless all who care and help and read and cook! Margaret near JFK Airport NY I want to make unique pies in 2013 and share them!

  22. My favorite pie is coconut cream. I do want to make savory pies though. Thanks for the review.

  23. My brother in law makes these awesome little ground-pork pies at Christmas every year. I always look forward to those. Of course, I rarely refuse a good apple pie. Or pumpkin. Or sweet potato. I like pie.

  24. My favorite are definitely savory pies over desserts any day - pork, chicken, beef, or veggie - they are all scrumptious. Yours look so delicious! This cookbook is one I'm definitely adding to my collection.

  25. I would love bacon pie. I hope there is a recipe in the book.

  26. my fav dessert pie is sweet potato. my fav savory pie is french onion soup but in a hand pie form.

  27. my fav dessert pie is sweet potato. my fav savory pie is tomato.

  28. My favorite pie is Chicken Pot Pie! But I one had a dream that I invented a new pie... Blueberry Lemon Meringue, Lemon filling topped with blueberry pie topped with meringue.

  29. Those look wonderful!! I think my favorite pie is good 'ol homemade apple pie. Yumm!

  30. I am a huge empanada fan!Those look amazing, Chris! The book sounds like a great addition to my cookbook collection :)I love savory pies, and my favorite pie is "Pastel de Carne" a Colombian mini beef pie.

  31. And that's how you stay warm during the snow (whether it's a storm according to Northeast standards or not!). Those peppers are a good kick in the pie. Hmmm, a savory pot pie hits the spot. We made a Chicken, Grape and Tarragon pie that rocked!

  32. Your pies look fantastic!! :) And what a great giveaway.. my favorite sweet pie is apple, but favorite savory would have to be my very own version of chorizo empanadas!

    Love the blog (brownie points?)

    My favorite dessert pie is CHERRY.

    My favorite SAVORY pie is a tie between Empanadas with Roast Carnitas
    Breakfast PASTY from Michigan's U.P. Ham, egg, potato, cheese, YUM!


  34. Yum! This book looks tasty!! Being a MI girl I am also a pasty fan! Savory pies are where it is at!!

  35. dear lord, that's the stuff dreams are made off. I'm quite sure my hubby would leave me for you...if you swing that way....Just joking! ha

  36. I ADORE Greg so I've been dying to get my hands on that book! Favorite pie. Classic.

    Sounds like you guys have had more snow than we have!

  37. My favorite pie would be Pumpkin or would a Calzone be considered a savory pie, either one. I sure would like to learn more.

  38. I do LOVE the sound of these savory pies, but I would have to say that Apple, with caramel and cinnamon is my absolute fave! I would LOVE that book!

  39. I love lemon meringue pie
    thanks for the giveaway

  40. My favorite pie is cherry, though I've always wanted to try to make some Cornish pasties for my husband. Thanks for the giveaway.

  41. Your Florida friends are jealous of the Tennessee snow. I can think of a better day than a snow day (rain day for us here in Florida) to spend time in the kitchen-it is the best.

    Your pies rock. I would have never expected less.

    My favorite apple hands down.


  42. mmmm, strawberry-rhubarb.

  43. My favorite pie is a Brownie Pie, which was first published in a Wesson Oil cookbook back in 1952. My dad ordered one when Wesson first introduced their vegetable oil, and I think he paid 50 cents plus a couple of labels for the cookbook, and it has been my go-to cookbook for many different desserts, both pies and cakes. Of course, I have started using canola oil for those creations, but my daughter always requests my brownie pie for special occasions, and it is very easy to make! Now, if I could get my hands on that savory pie cookbook, it's no telling where I would go with it!!! :-)

  44. Those look incredibly good Chris! Lucky boys. Your pie crust is perfect! My first 20 pie crusts were a train wreck. You're a pro already. My favorite pie is peanut butter cup pie.

  45. Love that book~chicken pot pie.

  46. Cornish Pasty! only if eaten in England!

  47. As you should know, my favorite savory pie is your mother's Chicken Pot Pie. That's all I have to say about that!


  48. I really, really, REALLY want one of these right now!

  49. Okay. I have to say those look like about the best things ever. I want them now.

  50. This sounds absolutely delicious, thanks for putting this up.



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