These Steen’s Syrup Braised Pork Turnovers are hand pies with an all butter crust that open to reveal shredded pork goodness braised in a rich sauce.
This recipe uses Steen’s Cane Syrup, the gold standard of cane syrup, derived juice from the sugarcane plant that’s been cooked in open kettles to concentrate; it’s golden brown, not too thick, sweet, and similar in flavor to molasses without the bitterness. Used in place of molasses or maple syrup, it works great on pancakes, in meat glazes, or in pecan pies. If cane syrup is unavailable sorghum syrup, derived from sorghum grass, is a good substitute; sorghum syrup is another sweet syrup with a bit more earthiness. Also you can blend two parts light corn syrup to one part unsulphured molasses; the corn syrup will combat the bitterness in the molasses.
I make these in large quantities so I tend to braise a large pork shoulder. I can’t help eating some of the shoulder by itself; it’s delicious with rice or mashed potatoes or whatever sauce holding side you like.
1 lb/ 454 g pâte brisée or another all butter pie dough
5 lb/ 2.2 kg bone-in pork shoulder
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
12 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
2 cups pork stock, chicken stock, or water
2 1/2 cups Steen’s cane syrup
Remove any obvious gristle from pork shoulder. Pat dry. Rub with salt, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes. Allow to sit overnight.
Next day preheat oven to 325F/ 165C.
Brown all sides of pork shoulder in pan with 8 tablespoons of the olive oil. Remove pork shoulder to a large braising pan. Wipe out pan. Add remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sautée onions for 3-4 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cook for 2 minutes, then the garlic and cook another minute. Put the vegetables in the braising pan with the pork. Add Steen’s syrup and stock. Cover. Place in oven.
Roast 2 1/2 -3 hours until meat is fork tender, basting often.
Remove meat from pan and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred meat and remove bone.
Strain liquid and reduce on the stove until you have a thick syrup.
Shred cooled pork. Pour reduced syrup over it and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool completely. This can rest overnight, if desired. It makes it taste even better.
Preheat oven to 350F/ 175C.
Roll out dough and cut 5″/ 12.5cm circles either with a large cookie cutter or with a cardboard cutout as a guide. Allow to rest 10 minutes in the fridge, covered. Alternatively this can be done the day before and kept tightly covered; allow it to warm up slightly the next day so it does not crack .
Pull pastry from fridge. Working quickly so the pastry remains cold, place a some of the pork mixture in the center, allowing a wide edge. Brush edge with eggwash. Fold in half and crimp with a fork. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Brush with eggwash and poke a hole in the middle. They can be frozen at this point, covered, if you do not want all the pies for now. If you freeze them, allow filling in the center to defrost in the fridge before baking. (You can pull them out of the freezer the day before to accomplish this without the pastry getting too warm).
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
For more pie goodness, check out our Root Vegetable Pasties.