4 ratings

Barbecued Pork Hand Pies


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.

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For the slow-cooked pork

  • 4 quarts beef broth
  • 3/4 Cups red-wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 Cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 Cup molasses
  • 4-4 1/2 Pounds pork shoulder

For the barbecue dipping sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup chopped onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • One 28-ounce can tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 Cup ketchup
  • 1/2 Cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 dried chiles
  • 2 Teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 Teaspoons smoked paprika

For the molasses apples

  • 1 Cup apple juice or cider
  • 1/3 Cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon brandy
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice

For the assembly

  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
  • Two 14-ounce cans buttermilk biscuit dough
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


For the slow-cooked pork

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. 

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.

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.

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

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

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

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 12-well classic cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray.

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.

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.

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.