Bierocks are meat-filled pocket pastries originating in Eastern Europe, possibly in Germany or Russia. The dish is common among the Volga German community in the United States and Argentina. It was brought to the United States in the 1880s by German Russian Mennonite immigrants. Bierocks are filled with cooked and seasoned ground beef, shredded cabbage and onions, then oven baked until the dough is golden brown.

Here's our recipe for bierocks.

What You Need

One pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 medium head green cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper, a few grinds
1 bay leaf
Worcestershire, a couple of dashes
Cayenne to taste (optional)

Yeast dough or 1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Dough Mix (our favorite)

Here’s How

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef. Add the onion and simmer about 15 minutes to blend flavors. You may need to add a couple of tablespoons water. Add the chopped cabbage and continue to cook until crisp tender. Add seasonings and stir well. (You make the filling ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to use.)

Dough: You may use your favorite yeast dough recipe or a box of hot roll mix. The hot roll mix is our favorite and by far the easiest and works very well. Just follow the directions on the box. Water temperature is important. Use a quick read thermometer to make sure it is between 120 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured board. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Cover with a large warm bowl and let rest for about 10 minutes.

Punch down and divide the dough into 8 - 10 equal pieces. Roll each of these pieces into a ball. Place balls of dough on floured wax paper, leaving space between each. (The dough is going to rise more here so you don’t want the balls to go together.) Cover with a tea towel and let rise 15 minutes or so until the dough relaxes.

Roll each ball of dough to the size of a large saucer or salad plate. Place a generous 1/2 cup filling in the center of the rolled out dough. Dampen edges of dough and pull dough up and around filling, pinching the edges to seal. The shape will be an oval with gently pointed ends, kind of like a pregnant hot dog!

Place the bierocks seam side down on an oiled jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). We use parchment paper instead. No mess to clean up!  Cover the bierocks again with a tea towel and let rise another 15 to 20 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack. Serve hot with your favorite German beer or cool completely. May be frozen by wrapping each tightly with foil. (When reheating, do so slowly on low heat.)

Note: Add spices that interest you. Try adding 1 teaspoon lemon pepper and 1 teaspoon caraway seed if you like that flavor. Be creative......or just use salt and pepper if you prefer.

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