Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bierrocks for now and for the freezer or another idea for an extra head of cabbage...

DH brought in a couple of heads of savoy cabbage from the garden when I'd asked for one.  He does that a lot.  Sometimes it's a push to use up what's ready in the garden.  One extra head doesn't seem like enough to run through the dehydrator and what with all the other garden produce flowing through the kitchen, it can get lost in the chaos.

So I decided to make a batch of bierrocks for the freezer.  Sort of kills two birds with one stone as we always need quick meals when the garden's growing and the outdoors is calling.

I took three pounds of ground beef from the freezer and a couple of red onions from the garden, and started them to cooking in a big skillet.  I never bother thawing the ground beef first.  Just put a teaspoon or so of oil (our beef is really lean) in the pan, add the frozen meat and put a lid on the pan over low heat.  I check it every few minutes and break off the cooked meat, stirring everything together.  Then put the lid on and let it cook a few more minutes.  In a half hour or less, the meat's cooked and broken apart, while I've been able to work on the rest of the dish.

Homemade dough came together pretty fast, though I use the sponge method to get it off to a good start.  And one could always use frozen bread or pizza dough if need be.  The fresh-ground whole wheat dough I used this time is pretty light and the same one I use to make sandwich buns but a good pizza dough would make a great bierrocks' bread, too.
Once the meat and onions were done, I added the whole head of cabbage, shredded, to the pan and let it cook for another 8-10 minutes or so, until the cabbage was tender but still slightly crisp.  Rolling out a piece of dough, a little smaller than a tennis ball, into an oval was the next step.  I mounded a tablespoon or two of shredded cheese on each oval of dough and topped that with 2-3 tablespoons of the meat-cabbage mixture.

I like to fold half the oval over and leave enough of an edge on the bottom section of dough that I can overlap the bottom over the top edge and crimp them together with a fork.  That's the best method I've found to contain the filling so little to none will leak out while baking.  I do have a neat little plastic pocket-looking thing that supposedly lets you prepare the works in one step, then folds over to crimp the edges together.  It works about half the time.  Doing it by hand works all the time plus I don't have to worry about extra filling poking out the open hinge area of the plastic thing when folded.  Overall, that kitchen tool is a good idea but not truly effective.  Still can't bring myself to toss it, though.

So one extra head of savoy cabbage, three pounds of lean ground beef, two red onions and a batch of fresh ground whole wheat bread dough yielded three dozen small-hand-sized bierrocks or 33 for the freezer.  (After all the hard work, we each had to have one for supper...)

Bierrocks for now or for the freezer

3 pounds ground beef
1  head cabbage, chopped or shredded
2 onions, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 ounces shredded cheese or sliced American cheese
1 batch of  Wholegrain Hamburger Bun dough
   OR 3 pounds frozen bread dough
1 egg, beaten (optional)
Brown ground beef in a large skillet with the onion.  Drain grease, if necessary.  Add cabbage and continue cooking 5-8 minutes or until onion is soft and cabbage is tender but still slightly crisp.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cool while preparing dough.

After dough has risen the first time, roll out balls of dough into thin ovals about the size of your hand.  Place a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese or half a slice of American cheese on one end of dough oval and top with meat-cabbage filling.  Fold over and seal like a turnover.  I like to use a large meat fork to press the edges together and fold the bottom edge over the top edge, then crimp to make a good seal.

Place on a baking sheet and brush with egg.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately or cool and freeze.  To reheat frozen, simply bake until hot.  May also be frozen before baking and baked from frozen state.  Will require longer baking time.  Plan on at least 30 minutes.

Yield: about 30


Shonya said...

Mmmmm, I keep hearing I need to try these, but never have. They look delicious! I'm going to have to try them now for sure.

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

Definitely give them a try! Even those who say they don't like cabbage tend to like these little bundles. And so nice to have in the freezer for quick meals or snacks.

A Brush with Color said...

I can almost smell these, Carolyn. I'll bet they're fabulous.

Glenda said...

Umm you are making me hungry at 7am this morning.
I cook early because its so hot during the day here in SW Houston. I use a lot of cabbage. Not homesteading yet but on our way learning how you guys do it.

Carolyn at Walnut Spinney said...

Hey, they're good for breakfast, too... :D