Welcome to Diane's Blog - Canning and Cooking at Home
Well, I finally made some of these! No matter what your friends and family call them - they are magnificent little pockets of tastiness! There are questions as to where this recipe originates from....some saying Russia and most agreeing on Germany (or at least close to the Russian/German border.) Then there are those who have settled on calling them - 'Runza' - which is a food chain that is based in the Heartland of the US. I had a Runza "burger" years ago and remember the tasty concoction - never realizing it was from such an old, traditional recipe. Many cultures have their own 'dumpling stuffed' versions of a Bierock. What I like most about this recipe is that you expect the "bun or roll" to be hard but, its not, its soft and gives way to this wonderful hamburger and spiced cabbage mixture. In most Bierock recipes you'll see the seasonings as "salt & pepper" - I happen to think the cabbage mixture deserves more in the way of spices and taste. Upon watching two fellows recreate the recipe in a small town in Germany; I saw they incorporated other seasonings into their mix - I decided I would follow suit and I am glad I did. I also added the splash of apple cider vinegar that I put in my cabbage rolls...just brings out the savory factor in the cabbage. Since I concentrated on the "filling" this time and not the dough - I used frozen dinner rolls (which are then thawed and flattened before stuffing.) I haven't seen a recipe out there (yet) like mine so, I am naming these after my German Heritage (family name) 'Schmidt'. ~Enjoy! Diane
1 Tbs butter
1 large onion, diced
1 bag of shredded cabbage/cole slaw mix (16 oz)
1/4 cup water
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 tsp fennel seed, divided
1 tsp caraway seed, divided
1/8 tsp cumin
salt to taste
pepper to taste
splash of apple cider vinegar
melted butter for basting rolls
36 frozen dinner rolls (I used Rhodes)
*you can make your own dough and use as well.
To start, you should have your rolls/dough defrosting during the time you make the filling. The rolls take 3-5 hours to defrost. I make my filling one hour prior to dough being ready. I spray a cookie-sheet with non-stick spray and layout my frozen rolls, then spray cling wrap with non-stick spray and lay over the tops of the buns so they don't stick, dry out and/or harden. (((your packaging should also explain this too))
**Making the filling - which then should be cooled at least 30 mins. before filling dough and baking.
Place 1 Tbs Butter in a large pot to melt, add in diced onion - sweat onions for approx 5-8 mins.
Add in 1 whole bag (16 oz) of shredded cabbage (I like the coleslaw with carrots blend) and stir until wilted down a bit - approx 3-4 mins. add a: pinch of salt, a pinch of pepper, 1/2 tsp fennel, 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, add 1/8 tsp cumin to mixture.
Mix well, and add in 1/4 C water, set to low, cover and simmer 5 mins. Give mixture a good stir, then turn off heat and set aside to brown ground beef in a different pan.
Brown ground beef in a separate pan, adding in another pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, and the final 1/2 tsp each fennel and caraway seeds, drain fat off pan and add browned ground beef to pot with cabbage mixture - add in a splash of apple cider vinegar, if preferred.
Taste for any final seasonings (usually a little more salt & pepper) and set pot aside for entire mixture to cool down while dough finishes rising/defrosting.
Preheat oven to 365.
To fill dough, take one roll in hand, and spread out edges using your fingers (think of swirling pizza dough) lay the circle over your hand and place 1/4 cup of mix/filling into center of dough. Draw two opposite ends towards each other and pinch together (should look like a little taco) then pull up the remaining two open ends towards the center to create a ball and pinch all the dough seems together, lay upside down on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. These do expand while baking so, give them some space to grow on the cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes at 365 *or until golden brown. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter and serve warm.
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Diane Baker: Owner & Creator of Canning and Cooking at Home