Bierocks belong almost entirely to the states of the Midwest. These rolls stuffed with cabbage and meat are the product of the Volga German immigrant families who originally settled here in places like Kansas. It’s believed that bierocks are a descendent if the Eastern European food pierogis. Similar idea but still different!
Traditionally, these deliciously soft rolls are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and cabbage, though many people like to add cheese nowadays. We love them without cheese and lots of spices, like chili and mustard powder. We’ve also grown to like them with a mixture of ground pork and ground beef. In Sweden, this combination is called “blandfärs,” and you can buy this at the grocery store already mixed.
You can easily make them veggie friendly by swapping meat for tofu or any vegetable that won’t retain too much moisture. If you’re conscious of red meat, you could easily swap for ground turkey and up the added spices. We always use Veganaise from @followyourheart but you can make the whole recipe #vegan by swapping the milk for water and the butter for your favorite vegan alternative.
They’re great to keep in your freezer and pop out when you need a fast, filling, and tasty meal. We often make a big batch of them and just keep them on hand for busy weeks.
Old-Fashioned Kansas Bierocks
This stuffed dinner roll is classic German-American dish and is perfect for making in big batches.
- 2 Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp. paprika
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/4 head of cabbage, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 lbs (1 kg) ground beef or alternative of your choice
- Lots of mayo/aioli of choice – this will help adhere the inside of the bierocks
- 1 ¼ cup milk, warmed to 110° F
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 600 g. all purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar/honey (30g of sugar)
- 2 ¼ tsp. yeast (10g)
- 1 ¼ tsp. salt
Chop onion and sauté in skillet over medium heat with a bit of olive oil until nearly translucent. Add beef and cook until nearly browned. Add chopped cabbage and simmer. Add half of the spices (so one tablespoon of each) and continue to simmer until cooked. Drain. Return to skillet and add remaining spices. Cook for at least 5 minutes and season further to taste. Let cool while you make the dough.
Heat milk to 110° F, add yeast and some of the sugar to the top of the milk and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes so yeast can activate. After 10 minutes, it should be foamy on top. Melt butter and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in a separate bowl. In bowl of the mixer, briefly whisk egg. When yeast is activated, add milk-yeast mixture to mixer bowl with egg and melted butter. Mix together. Add in flour mixture (you can add all of it in at once). Using dough hook attachment, mix on low until combined, then beat on medium-high for 5 minutes. Dough should stick to the bottom but slap the sides of the mixing bowl.
Knead by hand into a smooth ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rise in a warm, dark room for about an hour or until doubled in size. Meanwhile, mix the meat mixture with mayo. You should mix in 1 tbs (20 g) of mayo for every 100g of meat. About 1/3 of the meat mixture (about 600 g) will work for one batch of dough.
Separate dough into 2 oz./60 g. pieces—there should be about 18. Roll out pieces to about a ½ inch thickness and fill with 2 tbs. of meat mixture. Roll into a smooth ball and place on baking sheet. Let bierocks rise for 40-60 min. until they spring back when touched.
Brush with egg wash. Bake at 375° F for 25-30 min.
Repeat making the dough and combining with meat mixture until all meat mixture is used. You can spread this out over a few days if you wish to save time. Store bierocks in freezer – they will last for 6 months to a year. Serve with mustard.