Country Calzones

Between Pizza and a Calzone, Sometimes it’s a tough choice. I know they are essentially the same thing, but there is just something enticing about all that good stuff wrapped up in a fresh dough pocket that just makes me happy to eat. I haven’t had a really exceptional one from a take out for a long time. The last was from a place out in Long Beach Washington named Bluto’s. This guy was from the North End of Boston and new his way around pies and Cali’s.  But today I am going to step away from the traditional and give you a variation that I have found very tasty. The way I see it, why should the Italian ingredients get all the fun of being hugged by a good crust. The possibilities are endless here so have fun and experiment. I mean hey, if Hot Pockets can do it why can’t you? And I believe you will be much happier with what comes out of your oven than what comes out of that little cardboard box.

Okay, the first thing you are going to need is some dough. This is my Pizza dough recipe, it is very simple and gives a nice crust. Here is what you will need:

Pizza Crust 

3 1/2 to 4 cups of bread flour(A.P. will work if that’s what you have)

1 pkg active dry yeast

1 Tbsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups Hot(at least 110 degrees) water 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook( you can do this by hand as well) combine the dry ingredients and mix well. with the mixer running add the oil and water and mix until the dough forms a ball. If the dough is a bit sticky add a little more flour, 1 Tbsp at a time until the stickiness is gone. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead gently for a few minutes, turning the dough into itself to form a smooth ball. place this ball into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. place in a warm location and let it rise for about an hour. It should double in size. Once it has doubled, turn it back out onto the floured surface and divide it into two equal portions. Form these into balls as before wrap in plastic and let them rest for about 10 – 15 minutes. When rolled out this should give you two 14″ crusts for either Pizza or Calzones.

Now while your dough is rising, you can be making the filling. Here is the ingredient list:

1- 1/2 lbs of pork sirloin or butt cut into small pcs.

3 cloves garlic minced

1 medium onion diced

1 Tbsp fresh chopped Rosemary

1 tsp fresh chopped thyme

2 Tbsps Olive Oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste

Warm the oil in a large skillet and add the onions and a little salt. Cook until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about 2 more minutes. Now add the meat to the pan and saute until browned. when almost done add in the fresh herbs and mix all together. remove from heat and take the meat from the skillet. drain off all but about 3 Tbsp of the grease and to this add 3 Tbsp of flour. Whisk this well getting the fond from the bottom of the pan as well. after about 2 minutes slowly pour in about 2 cups of milk and continue whisking over med-low heat until this just comes to a boil and is thickening. Add the meat mixture back into the pan and combine well. Remove from heat and set aside.

Alright, now it’s time to put everything together. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and prepare a couple shallow baking sheets by sprinkling some corn meal onto them. Next take a clove of minced garlic and add it along with 1/2 stick of butter into a small sauce pan and slowly melt it.

Roll out your crusts to the desired size and place one on each pan. Roll these as if you were making pizza. Now spoon half of your meat mixture onto one side of each crust. Fold the other side over and roll up and pinch the edges to seal all the way around. Use a fork and poke a few vent holes in the top of each. Now brush each one with the garlic butter and place in the oven until golden brown. Remove and let set for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!!

Cook from the heart and taste the love 

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