Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beirochs Baby!

Every fall around this time a little bell goes off in my head and I immediately say, "It's time to make beirochs!" I make them once a year, eat about seventy three of them and then I'm satiated until the following year. Look at them. Aren't they lovely? I know you want them.

Now look at this. Isn't it hideous? I know you don't want this. I got into poison ivy. AGAIN!
I'll post about my misery later, but now let's go in the kitchen and I'll make you some beirochs. Because now that you've gazed upon my puss filled face, don't you want to cook some cabbage?
I've been eating beirochs since I was a little kid. They were part of our school lunch program. Bierochs are a German-Russian food brought over by the Mennonites. A large group of Mennonites settled the plains of Kansas and many of their foods have lingered and rooted into the culture of Kansas. When I made these in Missouri nobody knew what the heck they were. Now that we're back in Kansas, when I say I'm making beirochs people ask me if I eat them with mustard or plain?

I know you're going to ask me for a recipe. But, I don't follow a recipe I just make them. Follow along, and you can make them too. Get a big bag or can of sauerkraut. Rinse and drain, then set aside.

Chop up a head of green cabbage...chop....chop....chop...

Combine the cabbage and sauerkraut in a large pot , add a bit of water and put it on the stove to soften the cabbage.

This year I used our pork sausage and some ground beef. I make a lot of beirochs, so I used about 2lbs of beef and 2lbs of pork sausage. Brown it , drain it, set aside.Chop a large yellow onion, saute in oil until tender and starting to caramelize...I like to taste the sweetness of the onions. Mix the onions with the meat.

See all the liquid in the cabbage that has cooked down? We need to drain that off before we mix it with the beef.Combine the cabbage and beef in a large pot and start to season. You can do just about anything you please. But what I like is to add ground mustard, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Season to your liking is what I say. In years past, I've add a packet of soup mix. You can add cheese too. Ooooh, I love Swiss cheese in a beiroch. This year I left out the cheese, because I have more people in the house that like no cheese....but next year, I'm adding cheese.

You can stop here like I did. Store the mixture in the fridge, go find a wire brush and scratch your itchy face off and work on the dough the next day....or you can start the dough right now.

This year I made whole wheat dough and white dough. If I don't feel like making the dough then I buy frozen Rhodes rolls and use them the same way. Find a simple wheat or white bread/roll recipe.
Here's the wheat dough after it has risen and is ready to shape.
I quartered the dough then shaped it into a log.
Cut the log into about 1 1/2 inch sections.
Then cut those in half.
Now the dough is the size I need. I'm thinking buying the darn Rhodes rolls would be so much easier. But, then what would I blog about?
Patta-cake, patta-cake.... flatten the dough. Look at the blood blister on my pinkie. Blood blister, poison ivy, I'm every man's dream.

Stretch the dough, cuz it's got to be big enough for a big scoop of meat and cabbage, but don't break it.
I use a large scoop, it's probably 1/4 cup or maybe 2 tablespoon. Are you following me so far? This is how I cook people. It's learn it, then do it. Put one scoop of cabbage/meat mixture onto the flattened dough.
Now draw up the edges.
Start pinching together the dough until you have the entire mixture completely encased in the dough.
Like this.
Put it on a greased baking sheet and proceed to making 4,598 more. Making beirochs is a commitment. You can't walk away. You have to be there, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching. ARE YOU CHEF ENOUGH FOR IT!
Bake those babies for 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and watch your family love you and then watch as they hate you because you are going to make them eat beirochs for every meal for the next eight weeks.
Mmmmm. So good.

My family likes the white dough the best, go figure.


Clayvessel said...

Great job on the dough. Homemade is always best. Grandma's way. Next - homemade sauerkraut!

We need an aroma feature on our 'puters. I bet those morsels smell great.

And I hope you didn't get any blood or pus in those buggers. The health dept. could shut your factory down.

Tiff said...

Wow, those look and sound YUMMY!

Sorry to hear about the poison ivy, been there done that, ack....

Sharon said...

Can you make mine with tuna and asiago and forget the sauerkraut? Thanks. ;)

MrsMama said...

Yum! Save one for me. :)

I'm the only one in my family who likes cooked cabbage and sauerkraut. But I grew up in an area influenced by German cooking. And my great grandmother was German.

lmerie said...

I have never had beirochs (I have had poisin ivy - and on my face, yikes), these look very good!

Our Family said...

Yum! Those sound great. I don't think my kids would eat them though as they steer clear of all things sauerkraut! Too bad for them...they'll be missing out when I make them!

Suzanne said...

I make these!!! They're big in your area of the woods but in northern Illinois they're very rare. Mine are shaped differently (like square pillows) and have hamburger in addition to the cabbage. I learned to make them from my aunt who was from the Georgian region of Russia.

They are terrific and like you I have to make about a gajillion of them to satisfy the family.

- Suzanne, the Farmer's Wife

Jenni said...

Mmmm, bierochs! I think I may be chef enough for it, but I may do that cheater step of buying the rolls.

Rhea said...

I'm not much of a chef, but I have to admit these look tempting.

We have a lot of German heritage here in Texas (not me specifically though, unfortunately).

Leigh said...

oh my apple pie... i'm already planning the for the weekend, when my husband can help!

Sara said...

Krautburgers! My mom made krautburgers growing up! They were exactly like these, only no sauerkraut. Only cabbage. Mom's ended up a little larger in size - more like square pockets. Trust April, this really is a project. My mom used to spend at least half a day making, rising, baking and freezing these. I loved it! We used to dunk ours in ketchup.

cndymkr / jean said...

These look great. I just may have to make some. Or you could be a friend (cough) and send me a few.

muddywaters said...

BRAVO! I'm inspired. Even though I had lofty expectations, you didn't disappoints. I haven't made these in about five years because my wife doesn't care for them. I shouldn't make a 1/2 batch just for me. They do freeze well.

It's been my experience that bierocks are prevalent in central Kansas - especially around Marion, McPherson, and Hillboro, but they can be found elsewhere if you look.

It's one of the foods I actually dip in mustard. Well done.

Linda said...

Yup ... that's a beerock to us. Exactly! Except ours look like mini footballs. I love the mix of pork and beef in the filling. I could almost smell you baking them! My mom and grandma always seemed to make them on a mammoth scale. My mom would fill her deep freeze with enough beerocks to last through another depression. But of course I ate so many when we were making them that I didn't want to even see one for another year.

Blue Castle said...

Just found your blog and I'm enjoying it very much.

Your beirochs look wayyyyy too yummy. I am finding myself with a compulsion to try making these. :)

Julie said...

Oh yummy! I have actually thinking about making some beirochs and freezing them. They make great quick lunches. Zap 'em in the microwave for about 30 seconds and lunch is served!
Sorry about the poison ivy!

Samantha Eastridge said...

Ah... I commented at your sister's site. In Nebraska these are Runzas and we make them the same way minus the sauerkraut. There's even a small fast food chain that has them mastered (although theirs are much bigger than homemade). If you ever make it to Nebraska, stop at Runza... my fave is the swiss cheese mushroom one (with ketchup).

zgirl said...

I (like Samantha) know these as Runzas.
My mom used to make them from scratch too.
I now make Runza casserole.
Buy cresent roll dough (not really healthy, I know)
flatten on the bottom of 13 x 9 inch pan (bake halfway through) then add all your meat/cabbage
mixture (and if you are like me...velveeta...bad, I know) then cover with more flattened crescent roll dough and bake for 30 minutes.
Very good (but bad, if you know what I mean). :0)
I prefer homemade, but this is easy!

Dawn said...

Hey--guess what! I first ate bierox (how we spell them) for school lunch too! That was back in the day when we had home made stuff--bread, real meat, etc. I think our marvelous cooks made them at least once a month.

Cynthia said...

okay, i made them for dinner tonight.

i used half of teh ingredients that you used.

And I have 4 teenagers, 2 preteens and a piggy husband.

We ahve enough of these to last until, until,

well i can't think of anything funny. they are going to last a long time!

but we absolutely LOVED them.

thanks, you rock!

Southern Gal said...

They look delicious! I think I would like a whole wheat one, and I'm sure I'd like some spicy mustard on the side. Can you send that to San Diego?

Oh, & I love that you still got to include some bodily fluids in this post on bierocks!

I hope the poison ivy clears up soon!

Maren said...

That looks delicious!:)

Jaclyn Bailey said...

They look yummy! I think I will make some next week! Thanks for sharing!

Pieceful Afternoon said...

My husband is POlish - and we've been eating Perogies for years - same recipe - just a little different name. Interesting how many countries make this food and the different names they call it. We used to get them at street fairs in Eureka, CA - there would be a line waiting as the truck drew up to the Perogi booth with more fresh baked ones - we just couldn't get enough. I don't know who made them, but they were excellent.

DesertHen said...

My Nana made "beer-rocks" every year right before Thanksgiving.....she would cook up a huge batch along with a pot of beans and as we arrived at her little house in the country on a cold evening right before turkey day, she would serve us the beer-rocks and mom also makes them at least once a year and now I have started the tradition as well. I usually make them in November.