When March rolls around, I start religiously checking the local grocery stores for cabbage sales.
Cabbage usually isn’t an expensive veggie anyway, but they practically give it away around St. Patrick’s Day.
While we aren’t big fans of corned beef and cabbage at our house, I have found other ways to prepare this frugal food in ways that my family will enjoy. These cabbage buns are our absolute favorite! They are officially known as “bierocks” or “runzas,” but I prefer to call them cabbage buns, since hubby never can remember what I’m talking about when I say we are having bierocks for supper…
Homemade Cabbage Buns/Bierocks
For the Filling:
- 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 pound ground beef (or venison or antelope or ??)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 3-4 Tablespoons coconut oil, bacon grease, or tallow
For the Dough:
- 4 1/3 cups flour (you can use whole wheat, unbleached all-purpose, or a mixture of the two. Just keep in mind that the more whole wheat flour you use, the drier the finished product will be)
- 2 1/4 t. dry active yeast
- 1 cup milk or whey
- 1/4 cup sucanat (or granulated sweetener of your choice)
- 1/3 cup butter or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 eggs
To make the filling: Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet. Add in the additional oil (unless your meat is really fatty- then just use the grease from that), peppers and garlic, sauteing until tender. Next, dump in all of the cabbage and allow it to soften and turn golden brown.
Season it to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside the filling to cool- you can even prepare it ahead of time and refrigerate it until the dough is ready.
To make the dough: In a mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and the yeast. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sucanat, butter, and salt until the butter is just barely melted. Do not allow this to get too hot or you will kill the yeast when you mix everything together. 110-115 degrees is a good range.
Add the warm liquid mixture to the flour and yeast, along with the eggs. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then beat on high speed for 3 minutes. (You don’t have to use an electric mixer if you don’t want to. I’ve been known to just use my arm. It’s a good workout…;)) Stir in the rest of the flour and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour in a warm place. Then punch down and roll out on a clean counter top. You’ll want to create a rectangle shape that is about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut the dough into 4″x4″ squares. (Not gonna lie, I do use my ruler here sometimes… It doesn’t have to be perfect by any means, but sometimes my guesstimating skills leave a little to be desired!)
Add a large spoonful of the filling to each square (sometimes I like to flatten the individual squares a bit more before adding the filling), then bring up the four corners of the wrapper and pinch them together. I like to mash all the seams together as well, creating a round shape instead of a square.
UPDATE: I no longer roll out the dough and cut it into squares. Instead, I divide the risen dough into 12-15 small balls, and roll each piece into a small circle before placing a spoonful of filling inside. I’ve found this method to be easier than the measuring and cutting…
Place the filled dough balls seam-side down on a baking stone or tray. Allow them to rise for 30 minutes, then bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve these warm with a generous dollop of sour cream on the side.
A Few Notes:
- If you have some leftover ground meat in your fridge, just use that. Saute all the veggies first in the oil, and then add the meat at the very end. I’ve been known to use leftover taco meat or whatever else I have hanging around in the fridge.
- Not in the mood to chop? Then throw all veggies into your food processor and let it do the work for you. Process the peppers and onions together, then set them aside while you process the cabbage. Less mess and a big time saver!
- Don’t have one of the peppers? You can omit them altogether if you like. Just add an extra cup of cabbage to make up the difference.
- My favorite method of making these is to mix up the filling before lunchtime, and stick it in the fridge. Then I mix up the dough several hours before supper and assemble them an hour or so before we are ready to eat. The two stages of prep makes it less hectic for me.
- You can bake these on a regular cookie sheet, but I highly, highly recommend using a stoneware if you have it. They always have a tendency to burn when I bake them on my regular trays, but my stoneware cooks them perfectly.
- They make great leftovers the next day. In fact, they might even get better with age!
So grab some of that on-sale cabbage this year, give this recipe a try, and let me know what you think. I’m betting even the “cabbage hater” at your house will enjoy these!
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