Simple and delicious bierocks

Growing up in SW Kansas there is a staple food that everyone knows: bierocks. These hand-sized pockets of meat and cabbage were a favorite (and still are!) in our family. My grandmother would buy them from the local organizations or personal friends and serve them hot on any kind of occasion that warranted feeding a lot of people but not being held slave in your own kitchen.

Now, ten years since moving from the Sunflower State, I regularly make them in mass quantities to feed my family and to freeze for a quick, pop in the oven, kind of meal. Here in Nebraska I have heard them called runza or “cabbage burgers” but until I live as many years here as I ever did in Kansas I can’t think of them as anything but bierocks!

Many people ask me what recipe I use and even though I don’t really post recipes to my blog I thought I would archive some photos (harder than I expected as I was cooking solo with flour-y hands and trying to weild a camera) and actually write something down to share the love of bierocks with those I know!

Before starting I preheat my oven to 350 degrees, both to cook the bierocks and to warm up my kitchen to make the yeast happy.
The amounts below will yield about a dozen bierocks.


For the dough you will need:
This yields enough dough to make about a dozen bierocks.

2 packages yeast
1/2 cup warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees to activate yeast)
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup butter, softened
4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
*If using unsalted butter add 1 tsp. salt

1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Set in a warm place.
2. Add warm milk, butter and salt (if needed) to the yeast mixture; let stand for 10 minutes.
3. Add flour and sugar. Mix until just blended. Cover bowl with saran wrap and let double for 50 to 70 min, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.

1 lb ground beef (I use lean beef. You will have to drain the grease if using a fattier meat)
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 cup of sauerkraut (I love the Bubbies brand!)
1 TBSP caraway seeds (0r to taste)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Cook your hamburger and onions. Adding seasonings as they cook, unless you will be draining or rinsing your meat then wait until after that step. Add the kraut after meat is cooked through, mixing thoroughly. Set filling aside until the dough is ready.

Constructing your bierock:

1.  Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times, adding flour if too sticky. Let sit for about 15 min to relax the dough.

2. Once ready take about a handful, roughly smaller than a baseball. Press with your palm into a circle of use a rolling pin, whatever is easier.

3. Turn and flip your dough, rolling or pressing until your circle is about the size of your hand.

4. Spoon about a 1/2 cup of filling into the center of your dough circle. Use discretion here as to what will fit. If you overfill your bierock it will bust open when baking, under filling just leaves you with a lot of dough!

5. Fold and tuck the edges of the dough to encapsulate the filling. Making a pocket!

6. Place the bierock folded side down on a parchment lined baking sheet.

7. Bake your bierocks for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

8. When golden and brown remove from oven and let cool. Transferring to baking racks. Enjoy right away or put into freezer bags and save for later.

If heating from frozen, place in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes until warmed through.

The best part of this recipe is that if you have leftover dough, which I always try to make happen, you can scramble some eggs with cheese, maybe a little bacon or sausage and make a breakfast version! So delicious!

Simple and easy for a weeknight meal. Enjoy with spicy mustard, salsa, ketchup; whatever suits your fancy!


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Margaret Traudt on 9 March 13 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for all the work to share this recipe on your blog. Not an easy task. These look just like our homemade runzas, but ours have cabbage instead of kraut, and I like your caraway seed idea. Will have to try it.


  2. I started making my own sometime after Jeremy and I got married, they are similar to yours, but like the comment above, I use cabbage. I’ll have to try the kraut and caraways sometime! I didn’t grow up eating them, so I am not sure where I got the idea to make them. They are good though!


  3. I am 1/2 German and 1/2 Czech, so the chances of me LOVING bierocks is very, very good!! Thanks for the recipe – I haven’t had a good bierock for years. Can’t wait to make them!


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