Featured Kitchen

Homemade Bierocks

Written by Melissa Haase

It’s a Nebraska thing.  And they are so, so good.  Perfect combination of hamburger, bread, cabbage and spices.  Enjoy!  

Ingredients:

  • Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 yellow onion
  • garlic salt/minced or whatever you like for garlic
  • 2 TBSP butter.

Directions:

Follow package for bread dough.  

Homemade Bierocks www.herviewfromhome.com

Once risen, roll into small sections.  Brown ground beef and drain fat, add chopped onion, garlic, butter, and chopped cabbage. Cook it down. (You can also sauté onion and garlic first if you so desire.)  Salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Bierocks www.herviewfromhome.com

Add ¼ to ½ cup of beef mixture to rolled out sections of dough.  Fold in half/wrap/shape how you wish. 

Homemade Bierocks www.herviewfromhome.com

Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees.  To soften, either butter top or cover. 

Homemade Bierocks www.herviewfromhome.com

Note:  I learned a little something with the last batch. Let the pre-baked Bierock sit out for a while to rise again. Makes the finished product much fuller. Also fill them with at least 1/2 cup for a fuller Bierock. They are best served with a slice of cheese.   It is also best if the beef mixture is completely cooled.  Wrap them tightly.  

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Bierocks!
The real deal - Homemade Bierocks!
Print
Ingredients
  1. Rhodes Frozen Bread Dough
  2. 2 pounds ground beef
  3. 1 head of cabbage
  4. 1 yellow onion
  5. garlic salt/minced or whatever you like for garlic
  6. 2 TBSP butter
Instructions
  1. Follow package for bread dough.
  2. Once risen, roll into small sections. Brown ground beef and drain fat, add chopped onion, garlic, butter, and chopped cabbage. Cook it down. (You can also sauté onion and garlic first if you so desire.) Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add ¼ to ½ cup of beef mixture to rolled out sections of dough. Fold in half/wrap/shape how you wish
  4. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. To soften, either butter top or cover.
Notes
  1. I learned a little something with the last batch. Let the pre-baked Bierock sit out for a while to rise again. Makes the finished product much fuller. Also fill them with at least 1/2 cup for a fuller Bierock. They are best served with a slice of cheese. It is also best if the beef mixture is completely cooled. Wrap them tightly.
Her View From Home http://herviewfromhome.com/

 One of our most popular recipes EVER! Once you make these homemade bierocks you'll understand why. Delicious and simple recipe for any occasion, it's a Nebraska thing.

About the author

Melissa Haase

Melissa Haase is a wife, mother of three, veterinarian, and knitter, living in historic Stillwater, MN. Melissa grew up in Hastings, Nebraska in an average middle america family with her parents and older sister. Staying close to “home” (ahem…home is synonymous for boy), she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Melissa married her high school sweetheart, Aaron, nearly 17 years ago.

After a brief stint working in broadcasting, she decided to pursue her original major and childhood dream of becoming a veterinarian. Taking a homegrown Nebraska boy to Kansas for veterinary school should be considered one of her major life achievements. She received her veterinary degree from Kansas State University in 2008. After graduation, she and Aaron, two golden retrievers, and a cat moved to Stillwater, where she began working in a small animal practice. Once again moving her husband to the arctic north, practically Canada, and NOT back to The Good Life….did not win her any bonus points in the wife category. Melissa now works at Birch Lake Animal Hospital in White Bear Lake, MN. She enjoys meeting new clients with their pets and hearing the stories that make us all realize how unique the human-animal bond is. She now lives with a retired show champion, a 6 year old golden named Sparrow and the cat she acquired in veterinary school, a 7 year old calico named Katie. Most times it feels like a small zoo.

Getting a later start than most of her friends, having a family didn’t come easy to Melissa and Aaron. They were overjoyed to finally welcome their son Jackson in November 2010. Jackson, 3, is charming, funny, and has more spunk than an entire classroom of preschoolers. Melissa is also mom to Audrey Rose, a beautiful, happy 6 month old little girl and a beautiful, heavenly angel, Nicholas George.

Melissa loves nearly anything crafty. She learned to knit one Friday night her freshman year in vet school after wrapping up a long week with happenin’ night of wine, girlfriends, yarn, and husbands…not in any particular order of importance. The first thing she knit was a hot pink scarf with two cream colored stripes with yarn and needles borrowed from her friend, Meghann. Knitting has brought very special people into Melissa’s life over the last 10 years. Her latest project “Knitting For Nicholas” has blessed her life like a beautifully hand-crafted blanket could warm a child.

  • First recipe I’ve ever seen without cream of mushroom.

  • cristy

    I do this same recipe but add some dry mustard

    • I bet that would be great! Thanks for the tip!

  • d

    My exact recipe with cheese added!

    • ooh – adding cheese! I like that idea.

  • Connie P.

    Where can I buy Rhodes frozen bread dough?

    • Hi Connie! I’ve asked the author – she’ll get us an answer. Thanks!

    • Should be able to find it in the frozen bread section at the grocery store.

    • Melissa Haase

      We purchase the frozen dough at Cub foods but my MIL in Hastings gets it at her local grocery store. (Allens, Russ’). I’ve used other frozen dough as well. You can even use the roll size. Hope this helps!

      • Any bread dough will work, yes, god forbid even home made. Personally I really dislike sweeter ones, stick with the plain dough for the first time. As you can see it’s easy to add things you like from mushrooms to hot or even bell peppers, or anything else.

    • I always make my bread dough from scratch but any frozen bread dough will work. Rhodes is just they brand that we have in Nebraska.

      • Would you share your bread dough recipe you use for this? Thank you.

    • Heidi

      Bag & Save, some Wal-Mart’s, Hyvee…it in the frozen bread section…I use the sweet dough though not the regular dough

  • Brandis

    Huh, I’ve never seen a recipe for Runzas WITH cream of mushroom. The seasoning of homemade Runzas is always an issue. I used to work “for” runza… I didn’t actually work in a Runza restaurant, I worked for Flatwater grill (remember Rock and Roll Runza in Lincoln? It was next to that), which was owned by Runza. We served zero runzas or any of their other food and even I had to sign a confidentiality agreement. ANYWHO, I made these last night, and I think I made some progress re: the seasoning. I figured they add MSG or some similar substance to create that umami flavor so I added some stuff I have called magic mushroom powder (it’s not what it sounds like… it’s from Nom Nom Paleo and it gives food that umami flavor) as well as a little sage and a bay leaf. But besides the seasoning, the thing I struggle with the most is the texture of the meat. I can’t put my finger on it. No matter what I do when I cook the meat mixture it ends up too dry. I tried under cooking it yesterday and no go. But I did get the bread to where I’m happy with it. I didn’t have any frozen bread dough so I found a recipe that was supposed to taste like rhodes and made that. It was pretty simple. And I think I hit on a few things, kind of by accident. Because of the size of the recipe I put the runzas in the pan butted right up next to each other (my mom always put them on the pan spaced out). Not only did this make them vaguely real runza shaped, I think it kept them from drying out on the side. And also your note about buttering and covering them after taking them out of the oven was helpful because another issue I’ve always had w/ homemade is that the bread part isn’t soft. Anyway, my kids, who I have never been able to entice to try an actual Runza, loved these and my husband and I were happy with them.

    • Kathee

      If you add about 1/4 water to your hamburger before you brown it it will crumble easier & not be dry. This works well with taco meat too.

    • Dixie

      As far as the texture of the meat, I like mine MUCH better if I do not brown the meat first, but throw the onion and cabbage in and brown it all at once. It requires a leaner ground beef but the veggies have so much more flavor as well.

  • Brandis

    OH, and if you don’t have rhodes or you want to use homemade dough, I used this recipe. http://homemusings.blogspot.com/2011/04/easiest-bread-recipe-ever.html?m=1 It calls for soy lecithin, though, and really, who just happens to have that laying around their pantry? I used an egg and 3 T. of oil instead. I was happy with the results.

  • Judy A

    I really like to use sausage or a mix of ground beef and sausage. It adds a little zing!!

  • Never heard of this “Nebraska thing”….but my family has been making them as German Bierocks forever.

    • Melissa Haase

      We lived in Kansas and had Bierocks there in a little town called Paxico. They are very similar.

  • Beth

    I use the recipe and also put worchestershire sauce, cumin and celery salt to taste. I think it makes it closer to the deal. I’ve also used pizza dough instead of the bread. It does make them thinner but we don’t like so much bread.

  • After I cook my beef/deer burger I drain the fat and cook 1 cup ketchup in the burger,add chopped cabbage, onions spices and cook till onion are translucent. Cool mixture, flatten dough in 3″ x 3″ squares and add burger and add shredded chedder cheese. Fold over and pinch the sides real good. Let rise for a while Light butter wash on top and cook.

    • brent wohlers

      Mom told me the zing in runzas was Worcestershire sauce. But I don’t remember how much she used.

  • We always add a splash of Tabasco sauce to hamburger mix.

  • Alan K.

    Substitute the cabbage with Sauerkraut, we like the flavor more than plain cabbage, this was the Polish way making a Runza handed down by our family

  • barbara

    what do you mean when you say in recipe -let he pre-bake runza rise again?

    • kate

      Before baking, let it rise a little. 🙂 I had to think about it awhile too.

      • Thanks! Yes…one reader suggested allowing it to thaw but not rise completely.

  • jill morris

    Rhodes frozen bread dough comes in a 5 loaf and a 3 loaf at our Hy Vee. How many Runzas do you get out of this recipe. How many loafs do you buy and how many balls of dough do you get out of one loaf.

    • Just buy the pkg. of 36 Rhodes frozen rolls dough. Let them raise to dbl or larger. Use one for the bottom and one for the top.Little more expensive but lot less work.

    • Melissa Haase

      I usually pull-out two loaves at a time. For my Christmas party, I got about 12 from two loaves. They were fairly good-sized.

  • In the western part of the state, they are known as cabbage burgers, didn’t even know the word Runza till much latter. 😉

    • Yes…I met someone recently who said something similar. That person didn’t love Runza…Gasp!!

  • Melissa Haase

    Once the runza is made, you can allow it to rise again slightly. Just so the dough gets fluffy and it isn’t so flat. this doesn’t work If following the quick method…I think it has something to do with the yeast. It was kind of an experiement when I made them once.

  • sharol Cline lawhead

    I let the bread thaw but not rise. Use miniature pie pans and use enough dough to roll to a size that hangs over the edge. Put a slice of swiss cheese on The bottom, fill with meat mixture and add mushroom ends and pieces from a can drained another slice of cheese on top, pick up the edges and tuck together. Place on greased cake dish tucked side down. Let set a bit .I think the sides of the dish holds. Moisture . I freeze these. To warm,wrap in Paper towel and microwave on defrost half power 3 or more minutes. Then full power for a minute or so. Depends on your. Microwave. experiment..use peppers or whatever but I like the meat mixture cooked together..letting the flavors combine.

    • Melissa Haase

      That’s a good way to go about it. Let it thaw but not completely rise.

  • Theda Russell-Hume

    My Mom taught me me to make these. Since I was really young, our family called these “cabbage burgers”. Mom and I always made homemade bread dough….never tried the frozen. In addition, we always added an envelope of dried french onion soup mix to the ground beef/cabbage/onion mixture. It really improves the flavor.

  • Nebraska born…. cabbage burger raised!!!
    Try them with Dorthy Lynch dressing, cooked in or dip it!!.
    Mmmmmm Mmmmmm…

  • Love all the versions! Bierocks were served in our grade school cafeteria (years ago)..I grew up in mid-NE. I use a recipe that calls for homemade potato bread dough but resorted to frozen when in a hurry. Also use hot sausage and ground beef, season salt and Worcestershire sauce. After baking I brush with butter and sprinkle garlic salt on top. Will have to try with Dorothy Lynch dressing! Try them with mustard. A small runza makes a great hors d’oeuvres.

  • Robert Keeler

    One thing that we did when I worked in a restaurant several years ago, and the reason that we did it from the head chef that had been there for many, many, many years. Unfortunately, I cannot be more exact on amounts because when we made ground beef for use in the restaurant’s dishes we cooked 20 to 40 pounds at a time!
    To get a real uniform texture with the ground beef and to help keep it from drying out try this: Take your ground beef, we used 85/15 at the restaurant for the flavor, place it in a large stockpot, also in the stockpot place a few strips of uncooked bacon, sea salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder or chopped garlic, and 1/2 to 1 whole chopped yellow onion, add water to the stockpot so that there is 2 – 3 inches of water, at least, over the top of everything. Place over high heat until it comes to a rolling boiling, stirring to break-up everything and prevent sticking/burning. Continue boiling until the ground beef is broken down to a uniform size and color with no traces of red or pink showing in any of the ground beef, I have used a minimum of 60 to 90 minutes when I have done this at home with 5 to 10 pounds ground beef. Turn off the heat and allow the stockpot to cool for about 15 to 30 minutes. Place a large colander into another stockpot about the same size or a bit smaller. *CAREFULLY AND VERY SLOWLY, pour the water and cooked ground beef out of the stockpot into the colander. After draining, if there are any large pieces of onion or bacon they can be removed or chopped up and returned to the cooked ground beef. Cooked ground beef can be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 days or frozen for several months until needed. (It never lasts very long around our house so I have never have tried to freeze it long term.)

    *Stop part way thru and stir the ground beef so that it does not come out of the stockpot and land in the colander in a large compressed chunk.

    • Boiling the ground beef…I’m going to have to try that!

  • Georgia B

    I have a mess. I bought the Rhoades rolls 36 count. Put in frig instead of freezer. Now I have a bag about to explode in frig….. Any hope I can still use the rolls that now have become a huge loaf in my frig. I can make the dish tomorrow if you all think think I can still use the rolls. Costly mistake!!!

    • Melissa Haase

      Oh No! (I giggled at first but you must be frustrated!) Can you bake some of the rolls for now? Also, it may still work tomorrow but honesty, I have no idea. We’ve used the rolls before as well. That way you can isea few at a time.

      don’t give up!!!

    • So, have you tried again?

    • Hey Georgia, I’m making the Runzas again today. Just wondering if you gave it another try.

  • carolyn combs

    They most likely will rise again.I’ve made this mistake before.
    The meat texture reminds me of Maid rite loose meat burgers. Another Nebraska
    fave. Right? Just add cabbage and wrap in bread dough. Lots of recipes on internet. Water seems to be the trick to achieve the texture. Right. All you Nebraskans?

    • I would like to make a Taco runza, would anyone like to give me any suggestions how? I had one many years ago , and there awesome!!

      • oooh – that sounds good!

  • Don’t use frozen bread

    RUNZAS (makes 6 sandwiches)

    DOUGH:
    2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
    2 tablespoons sugar
    1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
    1/4 cup water
    1/4 cup shortening
    1 egg

    In a large mixing bowl, place 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
    Heat milk, water and shortening to approximately 125° F.
    Pour over flour mixture; add the egg.
    Beat with an electric mixer on low until blended. Beat 3 additional minutes on high.
    Stir in the remaining flour; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
    Place dough in a greased bowl; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

    FILLING:
    1 pound ground beef
    1 small onion, chopped
    10 oz. bag shredded cabbage (approx. 3 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon ground pepper

    Brown beef and onions in a skillet, drain and reserve excess drippings in a saucepan.
    Add the cabbage, salt and pepper to the skillet; cook until cabbage is wilted.
    Make a gravy out of the meat fat by adding a few tablespoons of flour to the meat drippings, then add water or broth like one would do while making gravy, then add just a little bit to the filling (maybe 1/4 cup of the gravy) to help bind the filling together while constructing the sandwiches.

    SANDWICHES:
    Punch dough down; divide into 6 tennis size balls. Roll out ball to form a 7” circle, about 1/4 inch thick.
    Top each with one-sixth of the meat mixture (about 2/3 cup), just below the center.
    Wrap sandwich like a burrito: fold the bottom edge up and over the filling, then fold the opposite sides in and over the filling, then roll up from the bottom. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side down.
    Bake at 350° F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

    FREEZING:
    Runzas freeze very well. Allow them to cool completely, uncovered. Once cool, wrap in aluminum foil. Put the wrapped runza in a quart-size Ziploc bag and freeze. These keep about 4-6 weeks with no problem.

    REHEATING:
    Heat oven to 400°F, put frozen, (and still wrapped runza package) into the oven and heat for 20-25 minutes. The last 5 minutes, remove the foil.

    • I will have to try your dough recipe. I buy the frozen because when I buy yeast with hopes of using it…I never do and then it goes bad. Do you put any seasoning besides salt and pepper?

      • Anyone got a recipe for Runza fries and onion rings?

        Yes, just seasoned with salt and pepper. You might cut the black pepper in half if you don’t like your peppery.

        But I find the sweet egg bread makes them taste more like the ones you get at Runza Drive-In.

  • Anne in AZ

    Major disaster here in AZ…..I followed the direction exactly. I used the balls of dough from Rhodes and followed the direction for rising, which they did. I rolled one out, put the meat and cabbage mixture on it and attempted to put the top layer of dough on top. No way was that going to seal! Way too much moisture (and yes I drained the beef). So I ended up rolling two balls together, putting the mixture in the middle, and drawing up the sides and sealing them at the top. Sort of worked. But gosh, the minute I put the egg wash on, there they come apart again. I am so disappointed. Wanted to surprise my Nebraska husband with this. He was born and raised there, and we lived in Lincoln for 15 before moving to AZ. I really miss Runza!!!!!!

    • Oh No Anne! I’m sorry! I roll out the dough completely then cut them into rows and fold them together. I pinch the open sides together. Also, another reader suggested allowing the dough to thaw but not completely rise and I have done that in the past. I haven’t always used an egg wash.

      I’m disappointed for you! I’m going to make them this week to see if I can find out where it is going wrong for you. 🙁

    • Amy

      Make sure your meat mixture is completely cool or it will melt through your dough.

    • Hey Anne, did you try again? I’m making them for my family tonight trying some of the suggestions made by readers.

  • I thought this was a “mom” thing. She has been doing this since 1969. She puts ground beef, carrots, little potatoe and onions and cauliflower. Add a some cummin. Corriander, salt and chili powder. This was a fishing staple, growing up. When dad brought home frozen Rhodes bread, we kids knew we were going fishing.

  • lilyspurpleplasticpurse

    Not necessarily. Runza the word was in common generic use long before the company Runza (the registered trademark) came along. Therefore there is applicable “fair use”. Under the trademark version of “fair use” doctrine, the more common and generic the word(s) are or have become in the English language, the less likely the trademark owner may be able to regulate them. https://www.legalzoom.com/knowledge/trademark/faq/trademark-name-use

  • Stentor7

    Hey Melissa, I also grew up in Hastings, are you by chance related to Tami Haase? I went to elementary school all the way up to high school with her. The Runza recipe is great, my sister Gretchen figured out that the spices they’re using in the Runza Hut runzas are sage & white pepper, so maybe you can play around with a few batches to figure out the exact combination to replicate the taste. I’m also quite bit north of you up here in the wilds of Winnipeg, Canada. I’m working for a Canadian aerospace firm that’s building the next-generation of weather satellites, the RadarSat Constellation Mission or RCM.