This is an adaptation of the brilliant bierocks recipe by the Hairy Bikers. Meat-filled bread buns are a staple of many different countries and this is my interpretation – pretty straightforward to make and they freeze really well. If you want a deeper flavour mix half and half cider and pork stock for the stew. Make sure the mixture isn’t too wet when you fill the dough otherwise you’ll find yourself covered in a porky doughy gloop…
Makes about 20
For the dough
500g strong white bread flour
300ml dry cider
5g fast-action yeast
1tbsp caster sugar (or honey)
1tbsp olive oil
For the filling
Olive oil for frying
500g diced pork shoulder
1 onion – diced
1 clove garlic – chopped
1-2 carrots – diced
500ml cider (or good pork stock)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1-2 sprigs if thyme, leaves picked and chopped
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 3.
Season the pork with salt and pepper
In a large ovenproof casserole dish or pan, heat the oil then add the pork shoulder and brown the meat on all sides then remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add a splash of cider to deglaze and then add the onion, garlic, and carrot and cook gently until soft.
Stir in the mustard and cook for a minute then add the browned pork shoulder, thyme and cider and bring to the boil then cover and transfer to the pre-heated oven for 2-3 hours until the pork is falling apart. Check every now and then to make sure it isn’t drying out, adding more cider/water as required.
When the pork is ready, shred it with a fork and, if the mixture is still very saucy, return to the hob and reduce until it is just coating the meat and veg.
Set aside in a bowl to cool.
Meanwhile, make the dough by combining the flour, cider, yeast, salt, sugar and oil in a large bowl.
Mix it together with your hands until you have a rough dough then knead on a clean work surface for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and springy. Roll it into a tight round ball.
Place in a clean bowl and pour a glug of oil over the dough then cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until roughly doubled in size.
Line two baking sheets with parchment.
Knock back the dough and divide into 20 balls of as equal a size as possible, then roll each ball out into a disc about the same size as a saucer – dusting each one with flour as you go.
When everything is ready, put about 2tsps of the stew into the centre of each disc and brush the edges with water then pull the sides of the disc up over the pork mix and seal tightly (you may need a bit more water). Place each one on the lined sheets with the seal at the bottom.
Once you’ve filled all the buns, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for about 20mins until doubled in size.
Place the sheets in a preheated oven at gas mark 4 and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden.
Enjoy hot or cold!