Steen’s Syrup Braised Pork Turnovers

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.

Ingredients:

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The Absolutely Best Sausage Roll Recipe

These are absolutely the best sausage rolls. Decadent pork belly is balanced with pork shoulder and lightened with panko bread crumbs. Fresh herbs are also key here. They are salty and slightly spicy. If you are serving to children or picky eaters you can omit the cayenne. Of course puff pastry adds to the yumminess.

If you don’t have a grinder you can get your butcher to grind the meat for you.

I like to make these as small bites, but you can make them larger if you like. This makes a large batch. Save some for later to bake for a quick breakfast or snack.

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Raised Pork Pie

This recipe is from Meat by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, a great book full of useful recipes.  The cookbook contains photos of the step by step process for making and assembling the pie.  Also included in the book are recipes for the pork jelly and homemade bacon (salt pork).

Serves 10-12

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2 inch cubes

8 ounces pork belly, ground (or fatty sausage meat)

8 ounces salt pork, pancetta, or bacon, finely chopped

12 sage leaves, finely chopped

Leaves from 2 good sprigs of thyme, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

A good pinch of cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1 cup good pork stock that will set to jelly

THE HOT WATER CRUST:

7 tablespoons lard, diced

7 tablespoons butter, diced

Scant 1 cup water

4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 medium eggs, beaten,

plus 1 egg, beaten, to glaze

Make the hot water crust pastry first.  Put the lard, butter, and water in a saucepan and heat gently until melted; do not let it boil.  Put the flour and salt in a mixing bowl.  Make a hollow in the center and add the beaten eggs, stirring them gently around with a knife so they are half mixed with the flour.  Pour in the melted fat and water and mix together to form a soft dough; add up to 3 1/2 tablespoons extra warm water if it is too dry.  Knead gently, adding more flour if it is too sticky to handle.  Wrap in a plastic bag and chill for 1 hour.

For the filling, mix all the meats with the herbs, salt, and seasoning (except the bay leaf) so they are thoroughly combined.

Now assemble the pie.  Cut off a generous quarter of the pastry and keep in the fridge, for the lid.  On a floured surface, roll out the rest of the pastry, roll out the rest of the pastry into a 12 inch circle a good 1/3 inch thick.  Use this to line an 8 inch springform cake pan, pressing the pastry into the sides and flattening any overlap with your fingers.  It should come 2 1/2 inches to 3 inches up the sides of the pan.

Fill with the seasoned pork mixture and push the bay leaf into the middle of it.  Roll out the reserved piece of pastry into a circle about the size of the pan.  Brush the edges of the lining pastry with a little beaten egg, and lay the pastry lid on top of the pie.  Crimp the edges together so they are sealed.  Cut a 1/3 inch diameter hole in the center of the pastry lid.

Place the pie in a moderate oven (350 F) and bake for 30 minutes.  Reduce the temperature to 325 F and bake for a further 1 1/4 hours.  Carefully release the side of the pan and remove it.  Brush the top and sides of the pie with beaten egg and cook for another 15 minutes to set the glaze.  Take the pie out of the oven and allow to cool.  It will have shrunk slightly in the oven, creating a cavity that is traditionally filled with jellied stock.  It’s a bit like filling a car with petrol, but requires a slightly more delicate touch.  Do it while the pie is still just a little warm.  Warm the jellied stock until its pourable, but not hot.  Carefully lift the edges of the center hole of the pastry with the tip of a knife, making sure you have good access to the cavity.  You can use a small funnel for this or, better still, a turkey baster, with a squeezy rubber bulb on one end.  Tilt the pie from time to time to help distribute the stock, then try and get a little more in.  Stop when the stock begins to overflow from the hole.  Leave the pie to cool, then out it in the fridge.  It will keep for about two weeks.  Serve with English mustard, pickles, and salad.