We’re pretty focused on traditional sweet pies for the last six weeks of the year, but when it comes to savory, Ken Haedrich’s new book “Dinner Pies” (Harvard Common Press, $24.95) encourages you to think beyond chicken pot pie.
These mini pot pies are filled with sloppy joe filling, but you could stuff them with any kind of stew. It’s a great way to give a second life to leftovers, too. Haedrich, of course, includes lots of dough recipes, but for this one, you can use any biscuit dough you’d like, including the kind that comes from a can.
Sloppy Joe Pot Pies with a Biscuit Crust
1 batch biscuit dough, homemade or store-bought
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (15-oz.) can diced tomatoes, with their juice
1/2 cup ketchup or Heinz chili sauce
1/4 cup barbecue sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, plus more to taste
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Line a small baking sheet with a piece of plastic wrap. Dust it with flour. Prepare the biscuit dough, dividing it into six equal pieces. Using floured hands, shape the dough pieces into balls and place on the sheet. Gently flatten into disks about 1/2 inch thick, wrap and refrigerate while you make the sloppy Joe filling.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Sauté the vegetables for seven minutes, then stir in the meat and garlic. Brown the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
Add the tomatoes with their juice, ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, mustard and chili powder. Stir in 1 1/4 cups water, Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground black pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the meat is coated with plenty of full-bodied sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
While the meat cools, heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a six-cup jumbo muffin pan or ramekins.
Working with one piece of the biscuit dough at a time (and leaving the others in the refrigerator), flour your work surface and gently roll or pat the dough into a circle 5 inches in diameter. Place the circle of dough in one of the cups and press it in evenly, until the edge of the dough is even with the top of the cup. Repeat for the remaining pieces of dough.
Divide the sloppy Joe filling evenly among the dough shells; you can fill them right to the top. Bake on the center oven rack for 20 minutes. Slide the shelf out and sprinkle an equal amount of the cheese over each one. Slide the shelf back in and continue to bake just long enough to melt the cheese, about five minutes more.
Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and cool for about 10 minutes. Slide a butter knife down the edge of each shell and carefully work the shell up out of the cup. Set the pies directly on the rack and cool for another few minutes before serving. Serves 6.
— From “Dinner Pies” by Ken Haedrich (Harvard Common Press, $24.95)