December/January 2018

New England Pork Pies

Could we create a home version of these beloved New England treats?

Why This Recipe Works

The hallmark of these individual pies is their juicy, soft, and extra-savory pork filling. To achieve this, we combined ground pork with finely ground Ritz Crackers, which incorporated evenly, bound the pork together, held in moisture to keep it juicy, and added a good deal of fat to give it an ultratender—not bouncy—texture. A mixture of melted butter, sour cream, and an egg pulsed into flour yielded a smooth, pliable dough that baked up into a rich, crumbly-yet-sturdy crust. To ensure that the crust baked evenly, we divided some of the dough into six ⅓-cup portions (enough to line six ceramic ramekins) and then rolled each portion into a round before fitting the rounds into the ramekins. For the pie tops, we rolled out the remaining dough, stamped out circles with an inverted ramekin, and sealed the pies by rolling the edges up into a rope-like border. We made a quick gravy by thickening our favorite beef broth with a bit of cornstarch; once the pies were baked to golden brown, we poured the gravy in through the vent holes.


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Serves 6


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12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, plus 1 lightly beaten large egg for brushing
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt


22 Ritz Crackers
1 ½ pounds ground pork
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 ¼ teaspoons pepper


1 ½ cups beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 6)

  • Calories 853
  • Cholesterol 183 mg
  • Fat 55 g
  • Sodium 711 mg
  • Saturated 26 g
  • Carbs 58 g
  • Trans 1 g
  • Dietary Fiber 2 g
  • Monounsaturated 18 g
  • Sugar 2 g
  • Polyunsaturated 4 g
  • Protein 29 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 6

You will need six 6- to 7-ounce ramekins, measuring 3 1/2 inches wide and about 2 inches deep, for this recipe.

1. FOR THE DOUGH: Whisk melted butter, sour cream, and 1 egg in bowl until combined. Process flour and salt in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter mixture and pulse until dough forms, about 10 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Turn out dough onto counter and form into 4-inch disk. Wrap disk tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. (If chilling longer than 30 minutes, allow dough to soften on counter for 30 minutes before rolling.)

2. FOR THE FILLING: Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. In clean, dry workbowl, process crackers until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Combine pork, salt, pepper, and cracker crumbs in bowl and knead with your hands until fully combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Using 1/3 cup dry measuring cup, portion out 6 pieces of dough (3 1/2 ounces each); set aside and cover with plastic. Roll remaining dough into 11-inch circle on well-floured counter. Using inverted 6- to 7-ounce ramekin as guide, cut 6 circles for tops of pies, rerolling scraps if necessary. Set tops aside and cover with plastic.

4. Spray six 6- to 7-ounce ramekins with vegetable oil spray. Roll each 1/3-cup dough portion into 7-inch circle on well-floured counter. Line ramekins with 7-inch dough circles, letting excess dough hang over rims. As dough pleats along insides of ramekins, press pleats flat to even out thickness.

5. Divide filling among dough-lined ramekins, about heaping 1/2 cup each. Place reserved dough circles over filling. Roll overhanging bottom dough inward and crimp together with top dough.

6. Brush tops of pies generously with beaten egg. Using paring knife, poke hole in center of each pie to create 1/2-inch-wide vent. Place ramekins on parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tops of pies are deep golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let pies cool for 10 minutes.

7. FOR THE GRAVY: Whisk broth and cornstarch in small saucepan until cornstarch is dissolved. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and cook until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to 2-cup liquid measuring cup.

8. Lift pies out of ramekins, loosening edges with paring knife if necessary (do not invert; juices inside are hot). If vent holes have shrunk during baking, widen with paring knife so gravy can be poured in. Pour gravy into vent hole of each pie until pie is filled (you will have extra gravy for serving). Let pies cool for 20 minutes. Serve, passing remaining gravy separately.

TO MAKE AHEAD: At end of step 5, poke vent holes in pies but do not brush with egg. Wrap pies tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, do not thaw pies. Unwrap frozen pies and proceed with step 6, extending baking time to about 1 1/4 hours.