Friday, November 9, 2012


(Sorry about the blurry pic)

Somebody I used to know a long time ago taught me how to make these. They are awesome. You kind of have to know how to cook from scratch to make them, because how well they turn out depends on how well you are able to judge what you're doing. There are official recipes out there with ingredient amounts and cooking times and so forth but to me this is the kind of food you learn how to make by watching your grandmother or some other family member do it.

  • Make a batch of regular white bread dough. Use whatever recipe you normally use for plain white bread. (You could use frozen bread dough but I've never done that and am not familiar with it but for sure let it thaw completely.) Let the dough have its first rising.
While your dough is rising do the following:
  • Prepare according to package directions a box of beef-flavored Rice-A-Roni or something similar and equivalent. I think the rice is not typically traditional for bierock and if you decide not to use it you could either increase the amount of meat, cabbage, veggies, or just make fewer bierocks. 
  • Brown and jab into crumbles a package of breakfast-style sausage (like Jimmy Dean's or Owens) and a lb. of ground beef. I do this with them both together in the same pan. It's all getting mixed up anyway.
  • Finely shred and then chop some cabbage. When you're done the cabbage bits should be about the same size as grains of rice and you'll want a few cups, about as much as you have rice and sausage. Other recipes have longer/larger shreds but I don't want to have to deal with big pieces of cabbage coming out of my bierock when I take a bite.
  • Finely chop some vegetables: onion, something to add color/flavor/texture like a green and/or red bell pepper or a shredded carrot, and depending on how spicy your sausage is, you might like some minced garlic.
  • You don't need seasonings because the sausage is very flavorful and boxed rice mixes are typically salty enough to season the cabbage and other vegetables too. If you use plain white rice you could add some salt and pepper and maybe some beef bouillon granules to its cooking liquid. 
Combine all of your cabbage, rice, meat, and vegetables into a giant bowl. I do this while the meat and rice are still very hot to let the cabbage and other vegetables have just a little bit of cooking from the heat because except for the relatively short baking time this is the only cooking your veggies will get. You'll want them chopped up pretty finely for that reason. Set it all aside and let it cool a bit.

Punch down your bread dough a bit and let it rest for a few minutes to relax it. Cut it into chunks a bit smaller than a tennis ball or baseball. I usually get 24-30 and try (but never really succeed) to get them all about the same size. It doesn't matter if they're not perfect. Roll out one of the chunks on a floured surface into a circle about 6-8 inches in diameter and place 1/4 cup or so filling into the center. Fold the dough over and pinch/crimp/seal the edges very well. (Your bierock will look like a calzone or an empanada. That's the idea here. In fact you could say that a bierock is a German style calzone or empanada or turnover.) Place it on a lightly greased baking sheet and keep making until your baking sheet is filled - I usually get 6 on a sheet. You could let them raise a bit more but making them one at a time like this they usually rise a little and I bake them off immediately and get busy with the next pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes (it depends on the size of your bierocks and how puffy they got while you were working) in a 375 degree oven. Cool on a wire rack. I store leftovers wrapped in foil and placed in a big ziploc bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

This recipe is not hard to make. It is time consuming and there are a lot of steps and then afterwards the mess in the kitchen is huge - flour all over the kitchen counters, bits of chopped cabbage everywhere including on the floor, every big bowl and cooking pot and baking sheet you own get dirty, etc. That's part of the reason why I think that only experienced cooks would make something like this. If you are used to no more effort than sliding a frozen lasagna into the oven or putting cans and bags of pre-prepared food into the crockpot then this is going to be quite overwhelming for you.

But if you can get past that the recipe makes a lot of food and they are delicious and easy to reheat for lunch or dinner for the next few days.

1 comment:

  1. Well, I made 'em. I got about 6 and we ate some for supper, and then Bobby took some to work with him. I had one for lunch the next day. Really good and I'll make them again. I used pie crust. I think puff pastry would be wonderful.