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.