Bierocks Rock – Nebraska

Americans love their hand-held meat pies. Michigan has the pasty, West Virginia has the pepperoni roll, and Nebraska has the bierock. (Let’s not even start with Central and South American empanadas or the Italian calzone). Just like pepperoni rolls, these savory buns were

Bierock (Nebraska) sign

probably brought to the U.S. by Europeans, specifically Eastern Europeans who immigrated to the Midwest and Plains states beginning at the turn of the century until after WWII. Many of these people were farmers, as they found the land to be similar to their homeland. Bierocks filled the farmers’ lunch pails – they were easy to eat on the go and were filling. Bierocks (pronounced “brook” or “brock”) found in Nebraska are often rectangular while in other Midwest states they are round. We made ours round just because they are a bit easier to put together.

If you want to check out bierocks and other tasty eats in the Cornhusker State, head to the Taste of Omaha, May 30 – June 1, 2014.

Bierocks

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

For dough:

  • 4 to 4/1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 packages yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 egg

For filling:

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar

 Instructions

For dough: In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and the yeast. Warm the milk, water and butter to 105 to 115 degrees. Add to dry ingredients. Beat mixture for 2 minutes with electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and ½ cup flour. Beat for another 2 minutes. With a wooden spoon, add in enough flour (between 2 and 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

For filling:  Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, breaking up any large clumps of meat. Add the onion and garlic until the onions are opaque. Add the cabbage, sauté until quite soft. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Add the cayenne pepper and vinegar. Set aside to cool until dough is ready.

Divide dough into 12 to 14 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a circle on a floured surface. Place a large spoonful of filling in the middle, wrap the dough around the filling and pinch seams closed. Place the rolls seam side down on a baking stone. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.

 

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