My infatuation with biscuits started at Baltimore’s Black Sauce Kitchen. Last year, during my senior year at Hopkins, I frequented the farmer’s market almost every week to get one of their biscuits. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interview with Damian Mosley, the creator of Black Sauce Kitchen. The interview touched upon the origins of company, as well as featured a biscuit making demonstration, where he gave out part of his biscuit recipe. I tried to fill in the blanks, and I have to say, they come pretty close. This recipe works best with cold ingredients, so keep the buttermilk and butter in the fridge until needed. When cutting out the biscuit dough, make sure to grease and flour your cutter and be careful not to twist, as it will prevent the biscuits from rising to their full potential. These biscuits are great by themselves, slathered with butter and honey, or as a base for a sandwich (pulled pork in this case).
I’ve been trying to ski as much as possible with my family in Maine, as I know that I’ll have limited opportunities once dental school begins. Every time we’re up, there’s always a stove top or slow cooker classic that makes its way onto the dinner table. Yesterday was no exception with our pulled pork biscuit sandwiches. The pork was cooked in Moxie, a Maine created soft drink that imparts an exceptionally rooty taste (we even named our dog after the drink). The drink actually polarizes the state. Everyone has an opinion, and people either love it or hate it. But, from someone who doesn’t even like soda that much, I think it’s great. For the less fortunate who live outside of Maine or do not have access to this beverage, root beer can be substituted.
The Bite: I was so excited about my biscuit sandwich, that halfway through eating one, I bit through my tongue so hard that it started to bleed. Small injuries to the tongue are actually some of the fastest to heal, because the tongue contains a large network of blood vessels. This network promotes rapid healing and decreases the chance of infection as it brings an abundant supply of clotting factors within the blood and clears away most bacterial intruders. So, when I began my second sandwich, the bleeding had stopped, and I hardly remembered that I bit into my tongue the first place.
Pulled Pork Biscuit Sandwiches
Yield: 9 medium sized biscuit sandwiches (you may want to count on two per person)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk (you may need more or less depending on the humidity)
3 lbs pork ribs
6 oz can of Moxie (or root beer)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large shallot
1/2 red bell pepper
1 cup BBQ sauce (I use Honey Barbecue Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 tablespoon Sriracha
Preheat the oven to 415˚F. Combine the flours, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Either using a food processor or pastry cutter, pulse or cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks sandy, with no large chunks of butter. Add buttermilk and mix by hand. Place the dough on a counter and knead over twice, shaping into a square. Note: the biscuits will approximately double in height once baked. Grease and flour a biscuit cutter and directly insert the cutter into the dough. Alternatively, cut the biscuits into squares with a knife. Place biscuits on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.
Trim the pork of any thick slabs of fat that might be around the surface (I leave the small chunks in for added flavor). Place the pork and Moxie in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat for about 2 hours or until the pork easily shreds with a fork (if the pork is rapidly bubbling away, turn your stovetop dial to low). Meanwhile, dice the shallots and red bell pepper and saute them in olive oil for about 5 minutes. When the pork is tender, drain any residual Moxie, shred, add the shallots, red pepper, BBQ sauce, and Sriracha. Cook 5 minutes longer on medium-low to warm.
Note: The pork can be cooked with Moxie in a slow cooker on low for about 6 hours.
Slice the biscuits into halves. Stuff the pulled pork mixture between 2 halves
Source: The biscuits were adapted from Damian Mosley of Black Sauce Kitchen from the following interview