Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easy to toss, Easy to Eat: Bierocks

The bierock, object of today's entry, is endearing largely because it is prehensile and nutritionally complete. Easy to eat, and throw (if one is so led) the bierock contains meat, vegetable, and bread. I have never thrown a bierock but its nearly elliptical shape suggests that it could be effortlessly tossed across a dinner table in a spirit of fun. It can be eaten with your bare hands or with utensils depending on how your mama raised you.

My resourceful Grandma wouldn't mind, I suppose, that I gleaned this recipe from another source of Mennonite culinary treasures. The Best of Mennonite Fellowship Meals (Good Books, 2003) contains many recipes that are good for large groups of people. As if Mennnonites would ever feed large groups! Recently I had a day off and I wanted to do some baking that would result in having something healthy and easy to put in my work day lunches. The bierock is the perfect solution. They are fun to make, delicious, and can be quickly reheated in a microwave. In a complicated world, lunch should be simple, shouldn't it?

I add whole wheat flour in place of some of the white flour and I also add some ketchup, mustard, and grated cheddar cheese to the meat mixture which goes inside. I don't measure this, I just add enough to make it moist. Also, you might notice from the picture that I don't shred the cabbage too finely. If I am putting vegetables in something, I like them to be known for what they are!

Here is the recipe:


1/2 cup warm water
2 pkgs yeast
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup shortening, softened
7-71/2 cups flour (white and wheat)
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
onion to taste
1/2 cup butter
1 medium head cabbage

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening and yeast mixture. Add flour until dough handles easily.
Turn on lightly floured board. Knead until smoooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top of bowl.
Let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down and let rise until double again, about 30 minutes.
Brown ground beef and add onion to taste. Drain. (Here is where I add ketchup, mustard, cheese)
In separate skillet, melt butter. Shred cabbage and cook until wilted. Drain. Mix with ground beef.
Divide dough in half and roll out. Cut dough into 4 inch squares.
Fill each square with meat mixture. Fold up corners and pinch together. Seal well and turn upside down on a greased pan. Let rise 15 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Hoping you can enjoy the simple pleasures of the bierock,


  1. My aunts and I used to get together and make these. We took a short cut with rhodes frozen bread rolls. John does not eat cabbage- I would have to chop it very fine!

  2. So pleased I stumbled upon your blog! What a treat reading about your Grandma Yutzy and her special recipe book. And about your journey through it.

    My goodness, I haven't had or made Bierocks in years! We used to make them quite the same as your Grandmothers recipe book, but always added a bit of sauerkraut to the filling as well. Very tasty if you like sauerkraut that is!

    Thanks again for setting up your wonderful blog Ellen, I for one am thoroughly enjoying it!


  3. I live in Upstate NY Mennonite country. I shall make these and freeze for kids' lunches during the school year. They will be a hit!