Duck Fat Buns
A guest post by Mrs. Esquire
The perfect accompaniment to pulled pork
My husband, BBQ Esquire, has perfected his Big Green Egg pulled pork and Carolina sauce since he first started “egging.” He presides over the grill, and I take control when it comes to baking. So as he honed in on just the right method for his pork, I had to develop the perfect bun to go along with it. We often serve his pulled pork without a bun, or with a simple slice of one of my hearth breads. However, hearth bread is a little overpowering for pulled pork, and I knew a bun or biscuit type product would yield a better result.
While this blog is all about the Big Green Egg, I make these buns in our oven inside to accompany the meat cooked on the BGE. I am certain you could experiment making these on your Egg by trading the baking sheet for a pizza stone, dropping the temperature a few degrees, and extending the bake time a little. We haven’t tried this yet. It would be an ideal situation for a family with more than one Big Green Egg in the backyard!
It starts with a scone
The basic concept for my buns to accompany BBQ Esquire’s pulled pork comes from a family recipe passed down from my grandmother and great aunts. My dad’s family lived as subjects of the British crown, and afternoon and evening tea parties were a part of their family tradition. Families would call on each other, often unplanned. The host would quickly whip up a batch of scones. Starting with this scone recipe means this bun cooks up quickly and easily, with simple ingredients you often have on hand.
But I love to experiment and try new things, so I made some adaptions from my family recipe, creating more of a biscuit and less of a scone. Of course I cut the raisins, I backed out the sugar, and I added a dash of salt. And by substituting all the butter in the recipe with duck fat, this suddenly became the perfect flavor compliment to the Carolina style pulled pork.
The perfect bun for your Big Green Egg pulled pork
2 1/2 cups flour, plus one additional handful to roll out dough
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 dash of sea salt
1/2 cup duck fat (see next section on sourcing)
1 cup milk
Mix all dry ingredients. Add in milk, fat, and egg and quickly stir by hand until you have worked out most of the lumps. Do not over-stir or your buns will not rise. Roll the dough out and pat it flat to a 1/2 inch or so thick. Sprinkle a handful of flour over the top to make handling easier. Cut out circular buns with a small biscuit cutter or juice glass. Arrange on a stoneware baking pan with edges touching. I no longer have to grease my stoneware pan because it is well seasoned, but consider coating your baking surface with oil, butter, or duck fat if needed. Bake at 400° F for 15 minutes.
Separate the individual buns, and slice them in half horizontally. Fill them up with pulled pork and enjoy.
Did you say duck fat? I thought this was supposed to be simple.
If you do not have access to duck fat, substituting butter will work, though you will sacrifice flavor. You can find duck fat in some specialty grocery stores. I skimmed my own duck fat, and it is not as complicated as it sounds. We occasionally cook whole duck in our slow cooker. After you serve the duck you are left with a lot of juice in the bottom of the cooker. Strain it, and let it cool. The fat will rise to the top. I skim it off and save it in mason jars until I need it for a recipe like this.
We’d love to hear what you think about this. Did you try it with any substitutions? Has anyone tried this in the Big Green Egg? Tell us your experience if you try these out.