My reaction was – WOW! A $1 million dollar for a recipe? Are these recipes really worth that much? Do they really taste that good to be awarded a $million dollars? So I went to the library and borrow one of Pillsbury’s Cookbooks. I was curious to try some of these million dollar recipes. I want to know, and taste for myself, what makes these recipes won $1 million dollars.
One of the $1 million dollar winning recipes that caught my eye was the Chinese Roast Pork Buns by Wayne Hu. The picture looked good and the buns reminded me of Siopao, another Chinese dish that I used to enjoy in the Philippines years ago. Siopao is a steamed bun filled with pork and boiled eggs, served with a sauce. Thus, I decided to give this dish a try…
Overall… my family loves these buns. They are great travel food. And can be eaten as a snack, lunch, or dinner accompanied with a light soup.
And the preparation is fairly easy because I did not make my own buns. Instead, I used store bought Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits.
My question is… are the really worth $1 million dollars…?
The Barbecued Pork Blade Steaks are awesome. This is a stand alone dish that can be served with cooked rice and sauteed vegetables on the side. And they’re easy to make.
As for the buns…
I don’t think so. They are good… and the preparation is easy, but I don’t think it’s worth a $1 million dollars. But then again, this is a very good example that food and taste is very subjective! According to the judges of the Pillsbury Bake – Off Contest in 1994, this recipe – Chinese Roast Pork Buns is worth the $million dollar prize.
The recipe that I am posting here is my own adaptation of that $million dollar winning recipe. I made a slight deviation from the original recipe by using red wine and olive oil, instead of using sherry and peanut oil, but I think the taste is still pretty close. Also, I made extra barbecue sauce for the pork and I mixed about ½ cup of the remaining barbecue sauce with the filling below.
This recipe serves 4. Two buns per person.
(I apologize. But I don’t have step by step photos for this, yet…)
Prepare the Barbecued Pork Blade Steaks first.
I realized that I cooked four blade steaks but I only need 2 for these buns. So I made sandwiches with the ones I did not need…
Barbecued Pork Steaks
4 large pork blade steaks – about 3 pounds
Sweet Barbecue Sauce:
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup hoisen sauce
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup deli style mustard with horseradish
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
Combine barbecue sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a large bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of this sauce to be used for the Barbecued Pork Steaks in a Bun…
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Line a heavy duty cookie sheet with foil. Place a wire rack in the cookie sheet.
Wash pork steaks and pat dry with paper towels and place them on the wire rack. Liberally brush both sides of each pork steak with the barbecue sauce.
Bake pork steaks in a preheated oven at 400°F for 30 minutes.
Brush pork steaks again, on both sides, with the remaining barbecue sauce. Return to the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.
Remove pork steaks from the oven and cool enough to handle. Chop pork steaks into small pieces, discarding the bones. Serve pork steaks as sandwiches or use as filling for the Barbecued Pork in a Bun.
So once the pork steaks are ready…
Prepare the filling for the buns:
1 TBSP. olive oil or vegetable oil
½ medium onion – finely diced
1 – 8 ounces can water chestnuts, finely diced
1 TBSP. cornstarch
1 TBSP. red wine or dry sherry
1 TBSP. soy sauce
1 TBSP. hoisen sauce
½ cup chicken stock (broth)
2 Barbecued Pork Blade Steaks – chopped
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the water chestnuts and stir a few minutes.
In a small bowl, combine soy sauce and hoisen sauce and pour over the sautéed onions and water chestnuts, stirring to combine. Stir in chicken stock or broth and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat.
In another small bowl, combine wine or sherry and cornstarch. Gradually stir in cornstarch mixture into onions and water chestnuts, whisking constantly until thick. Remove skillet from the heat and add chopped barbecued pork. I mixed ½ cup of the remaining barbecue sauce to this mixture to make the filling more saucy.
As for the buns, you will need 1 can Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits…
On a lightly floured board or clean counter, roll each biscuit, using a lightly floured rolling pin, into a 6 inch circle.
Scoop about 6 tablespoons of the barbecued pork and fill the center of the flattened biscuit. Gather the edges towards the middle, twisting and pressing to seal.
Place buns seam side down on the greased cookie sheet. Brush each bun with the glaze and bake in a preheated oven at 375°F for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
1 large egg
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. water
Beat all ingredients. Brush each barbecued pork buns with this glaze before baking.
Enjoy and Happy Cooking!