Our organic vegetable bin last week also included a head of cabbage. Aside from making some of my various slaws (my traditional and spicy versions are particularly good!), long-forgotten recipes also came to mind.

Last weekend I prepared a common dish that I grew to love while living in Kenya – sukuma wiki. I used to make the dish with greens, but thought it might be tasty with cabbage. It was.

This week, I dusted off a recipe my mom used to make all the time – Bierocks. These are meat-filled pocket pastries, brought to Kansas by German and Russian settlers. I haven’t had them in years. They were as good as I remembered, especially with a healthy dash of Tabasco!

I prepared the bierocks Sunday evening, and baked them last night. I spent about 20-25 minutes preparing the dish, and another 20 minutes baking them 2 nights later. While the bierocks baked, I tossed a quick garden salad for a starter. It was a perfect meal for an evening when we got home at 7 pm from the gym!
The following is my version of the recipe, with notes on shortcuts to make it quickly during a busy workweek.
  • 1 lb ground beef, lean
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, shredded
  • Frozen bread dough (1 16 oz loaf)

Thaw bread dough.

Brown the beef and onion until thoroughly cooked and the onions are transparent. Drain. Add cabbage and cook for approximately 10 minutes until the cabbage is thoroughly wilted.

Roll dough to ½” thick. Cut into 5×5” squares. Place scant ¼ cup of beef filling in each. Fold edges in and pinch to seal.

Place on greased baking sheet. Let rise for 15 minutes. Bake in 350F oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Using frozen bread dough helps speed the preparation time – and it’s also possible to do most of the preparation on the weekend when you have a little more time. After placing the bierocks on the baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Place the pan in the refrigerator. This will slow the bread’s rising process, allowing you to pull the bierocks out of the fridge a day later to bake. Simply uncover the bierocks and let them sit at room temperature while the oven preheats, then bake as directed. You may need to add a few minutes to the bake time.Another yummy variation is to add a pinch of nutmeg while cooking the beef and onion. Try it!

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