So remember the other day me telling you about my 4lb pork butt that I made and turned some of it into whiskey pulled pork pizza puffs? Well as I said in that post I froze a good bit but I still had about 2 extra cups of it left in the fridge. I wasn’t sure how to use it up. I mean we had it as sliders, in pizza puffs, on nachos and over brown rice. This was bugging me as I needed to use it up and I didn’t want the same ol’ thing. For about a day or so I forgot about this as I wasn’t feeling too hot so back to the doctor’s I went. After tests and the whole shebang, they found out that it was just a reaction to the antibiotic. So as Mr. Fantabulous was driving us home that pulled pork popped back into my head. He was rambling on about lunch and asking for chicken and mashed potatoes (leftovers from dinner). When he mentioned potatoes I immediately thought ‘HEY! I need to put the mashed potatoes with the pulled pork, but how?”
Well if you’re a mixer like I am, I would just make a bowl of mashed potatoes on my plate and put the pulled pork in the center of that but most don’t ‘mix’ foods like that. So I went with one of my Fall favorites – Shepherd’s pie. Now normally shepherd’s pie doesn’t have a bottom crust but with this, I wanted to give it more oomph. I felt it needed that biscuity crust.
For me pulled pork just needs cheese. I know a lot of you are a fan of putting coleslaw on it as well but I really don’t think that would fair well in this dish. No this dish was going to be full on hearty, stick to your ribs and keep your belly all kinds of content on that cool Fall night. Once we got home and I made his lunch I got to working on this. As I started on the biscuit crust I realized I didn’t just want another plain ol’ crust. I wanted ‘stuff’ in it. So I chopped up some chives and threw in some shredded cheddar to give it more flavor. Since I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand (nor did I have white vinegar OR lemon juice) I opted to go with cream to the mix.
The dough itself is tacky and will stick to your fingers a bit so it’s best to moisten then when you pat the dough into the pan. You don’t need a rolling pin or the like. Just put spoonfuls of the dough in the pan and press it in place with your moistened fingers.
Layering this was a breeze… pork, cheese, taters. Now I’ll be honest as I contemplated adding more to this dish. I thought about caramelized onions and crispy bacon. Perhaps next time I’ll do that but I was hungry and a bit tired so I wanted to get this done as fast as I could so I could rest up a bit.
Since everything inside is cooked all you really need to pay attention to is the crust. See the edges of the crust? You want it like that. Just slightly golden brown. You can stick a toothpick in the end of the crust and if it comes out barely moist with a few crumbs on it, pull it out of the oven. It’ll continue to cook while it cools. You don’t want to overcook this crust as it will be dry and that is just gross. Sure you can add more bbq sauce to it but that’s just masking the awesomeness of the crust!
It’s funny to watch me try and take the first cut of pie out of a pie pan. I hold my breath every single time because it almost never comes out beautiful. So I always go with the ‘sacrificial slice’ which is my portion. What this is, is a very small slice (no more than an inch at the end” that I use a small offset spatula to pull out. Once that little bit of wiggle room is out, the rest of the pie slices come out beautifully. Now I have read that others say to cut not one but 2 slices to free up some of the pie to give more ease to removing it. Do you have a secret method?
When I took out that sacrificial slice I sat down and had to dig in. The smell was incredible! You could smell that rich bbq sauce with that pork, the cheddar chive crust and just a good ol’ fashioned warmth smell. That first bite… seriously we’re talking WINNER! The crust was so tender and flaky. It was moist but firm. The cheese had melted down into the pork and those potatoes had a layer of crust on top followed by such creaminess. This is one of those dishes where you want a full layer of everything in a single bite.
As you can for me I drizzled some BBQ sauce on top for decoration and for a little more sauce. I even threw just a handful of cheese on top when I broiled it. Why not? Cheese rocks folks. As I was doing the photo shoot Mr. Fantabulous came into the room and asked what that was. I simply said “Shepherd’s Pie” to which he grabbed a fork and stood there… waiting. No seriously he had a fork in his hand and stood over my shoulder saying “Okay okay, you took enough pictures. That’s a great shot honey. HEY c’mon, woman!”
Again with the woman comment. So I took a few more shots and let him inhale it. As he was eating it, he said “Hey this isn’t your normal shepherd’s pie. This has a crust. I really like it but I’m not too keen on the extra sauce. Is that bbq sauce? Wow I really like this a lot!”
… mind you this slice was inhaled in a few minutes. After he was finished I said yes it had bbq sauce and it was a new type of shepherd’s pie. I then told him what was it and then he said “Oh… pulled pork and bbq sauce? Yeah I don’t like it.” Wait, what? You just inhaled the piece, told me you really like it a lot and now because you know the meat in it and the sauce you don’t like it? Men!
But it’s all good as I LOVED this dish which meant I didn’t have to share a single bite. Now if you wanted to kick it up a bit, add the caramelized onions and bacon as well. My next venture with this…. pizza! Yeah I’m thinking this on pizza dough will ROCK!!! What do you think?
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 Tbl butter, unsalted cold and cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup cream plus 1-3 Tbl if necessary
- 2 Tbl chives
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, divided
- 3 cups Whiskey Pulled Pork *See note
- 1 cup Whiskey BBQ Sauce, divided *See note
- 2 cups Perfect Mashed Potatoes, warmed (you want your mashed potatoes a little thicker)
- Preheat oven to 350F rack in the middle.
- Spray a glass 9" deep dish pie dish or casserole dish.
- In a bowl add in your flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and chives and gently whisk.
- Add in the butter and using a Pastry Cutter (or a fork, or your fingers), cut in the butter to where you have little pea sized chunks.
- Pour in the cream and starting with a wooden spoon gently combine the liquid.
- Pour the mixture (should be crumbles at this point) on to a lightly floured surface.
- Slowly add in 1/2 cup cheese and mix it into the dough. You want to be able to gather the dough together, squeeze it, and have it hang together easily, without dry bits falling off. If it’s not doing this, add a Tbl or 2 more cream. You want the dough to be tacky but not wet/sticky. Do NOT overwork the dough as it’ll get tough. This step should take no more than a min or two at most.
- Wetting your hands (this makes it easier to put the dough into the pan), pat the dough down into the bottom of the pie dish and all the way up the sides. The dough should be a good 1/4 - 1/2” thick all the way around. I liked having a thicker top crust.
- Pat the dough so it’s even with the top of the pie plate.
- Add in pulled pork and layer that evenly on the bottom of the crust.
- Drizzle 1/2 cup bbq sauce on top.
- Sprinkle 2 cups shredded cheddar on top.
- Using a spatula gently spread out 2 cups of mashed potatoes on top.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust is slightly golden brown.
- To get crispy peaks on the potatoes broil for 1-3 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing.
Want more Fall Comfort Foods?
Let this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie grab hold of your taste buds and warm you up on a cool Fall evening!
Say Oui! to this incredibly flavorful Classic French Beef Stew!
It doesn’t get any more comforting for me than Mom’s Comfort Beans & Weenies Tater Bake!
This Bacon Mushroom Florentine Quiche with Olive Oil Savory Crust is so simple and deliciuos! It’s perfect for company or a night in with the girls!