Bierocks, also called “Runzas”, are considered by some to be originally from Russia. However, bierocks are such a national favorite in Germany today, and because German bierocks are so outstanding in flavor and texture, we are posting this recipe under German cuisine. This German recipe for bierocks calls for venison. You could substitute ground beef if you dislike “gamey” tasting meats. But venison bierocks are, in my opinion, superior.
For the Filling-
- 4 cups finely shredded green cabbage
- 1/2 lb. ground venison
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 tbsp. tallow
For the Dough-
- 4-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/4 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, cubed
- 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 2 large eggs
To Make the Filling-
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 tbsp. of the tallow and sauté the onions and brown the ground venison. Cook until the onions are translucent and fragrant and the meat is cooked through.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add in the remaining tallow, garlic and peppers, and cook until they are tender.
- Now add in all of the cabbage and cook until it turns a golden brown and is well softened.
- Season it to taste with salt and pepper, then your filling aside to cool for now.
To Make the Dough-
- In a medium sized saucepan, heat the milk, butter, sugar and salt – heat and stir until the butter is just barely melted. Be careful you do not get this mixture too hot, or else your yeast will get killed when you add it into the mix. I use a cooking “instant read” thermometer and shoot for a range between 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now add and stir the warmed liquid mixture into the flour and yeast, and also crack in the eggs.
- You can beat this combined dough mixture by hand, but believe me, it is laborious. If you have an electric blender, use that. Beat it until the dough is completely smooth and devoid of any lumps.
- Now stir in the remaining flour, and knead for 6-8 minutes or however long it takes to regain the smooth texture and your dough is elastic.
- Set the dough aside in a warm place and allow it to rise for 1 hour. After an hour, punch it down and roll it out on a clean counter top until it is consistently about 1/4″ thick.
To Assemble and Bake Your Bierocks-
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Now you can choose the shape you want for your bierocks. Some prefer rectangles, some like to create circles that they will roll up into balls, others like to make a sort of filled “cupcake”. I like both the cupcake style and and circular “burger” kind of bierocks.
- If you are making balls, roll them up, puncture them with your thumb to create a large pocket, spoon in enough filling to fill it, then squeeze the opening back together firmly. If making the cupcakes or burgers, slather some filling on the bottom layer of dough, then top the filling with another layer of dough. Keep the filling centered on the bottom layer of dough, because when you place the top layer on, you want to press down to make the three layers adhere to each other. You don’t want the filling to seep out of the sides.
- Place the filled dough balls, cupcakes or burgers in a baking tray. If making balls, place the seamed side down. Allow your bierocks to rise again, for about half an hour.
- Place the tray in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until they have turned a rich golden brown color.
- Serve your Bierocks while still nice and warm with a generous dollop of sour cream on the side.
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