Since I have a hefty dose of German blood running in my veins (a long with a potpourri of other blood) I ate lots of German food growing up. Of all the German dishes my mom prepared, my all-time favorite was beerocks. Mom usually made them when we were having company, which irritated me and my siblings. That meant we would have to share them with others and there wouldn't be as many left over.
Now that I'm and adult, my daughter and I make beerocks about four times a year. That isn't as often as we would like, but that's not because we don't love them. It's because they take so much time, and we make such a mess in the kitchen.
Beerocks are a Russian-German dish of yeast bread dough filled with meat, cabbage, onions, and seasoning. The original recipe for beerocks was thought to have been brought to mid-west America by the Volga Germans in the 18th century. There are several pronunciations and spellings of the word beerock (bierrock, berrock), but most Americans don’t care how they are spelled or how it’s pronounced. They just know they love them.
There are several ways of preparing beerocks. I prefer using chopped up chuck roast that has simmered in a crock pot all day, but my family likes them better with ground chuck. The advantage of using ground chuck is that it decreases the preparation time by about 4-5 hours.
These Russian-German pockets of goodness freeze up nicely so I always make a double batch. They are so popular in my house that they never make it passed a week in the freezer, no matter how many I make.
Ingredients 3 loaves frozen bread dough (3 lbs. Brigeford) available at any supermarket. 2 pounds ground chuck 1 head cabbage, sliced 2 yellow onions, diced Salt & Pepper, to taste variations: Ground allspice, garlic, or cayenne pepper to taste.
Preparation • In a very large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain off most of fat. Add onions and saute until tender. • Add the shredded cabbage and cook until limp. • Add salt, pepper to cabbage mixture and let stand until cool slightly.
Assembly • Cut the frozen loaves into 6 sections each, working with one at a time. • Roll out each section into an 6 inch circle on a well floured bread board and rolling pin. Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling onto the circle (pinching in four seams meeting in the center) and seal up well, pinching tightly so no juices can escape. Set the Beerocks on greased cookie sheet to rise again for 15-20 minutes. Place in 350 degree oven on lower rack and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until nicely browned.
• If you like a crusty beerock, spray the rolls with water just as they begin to brown. This may be repeated during the browning process.
• Serve hot.
Sometimes I add some 1/2-1 cup mashed potatoes (or instant potatoes) to help hold the meat and cabbage together and keep them moist.