Cabbage Bierocks (AKA German Empanadas or Meat Pockets)

These meat-mixture filled rolls make a great main dish, and are also great as a snack. They reheat well, so leftovers are also great! Sauerkraut can be used in place of the cabbage for more of a 'kraut flavor'.

INGREDIENTS:

Sweet Bread Dough Ingredients:
1 1/2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups warm water
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered milk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening

Filling Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground Italian sausage
1 onion, chopped
3 cups cabbage, shredded
3 tablespoons prepared mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded, processed American cheese (really, just quarter up about 9 slices)
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

INSTRUCTIONS:

To Make Sweet Dough: In a medium bowl combine the yeast, sugar and water and mix together; let stand 10 minutes. Stir in flour, dry milk, baking powder and shortening, then knead mixture for 10 minutes, adding as little flour as necessary. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, then knead again.

To Make Filling: Meanwhile, brown beef, sausage and onion in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drain extra fat from skillet (rinse if you feel so inclined), then stir in cabbage, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Drain the excess liquid. Add cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted.

Flatten a piece of dough. Place large spoonful of meat filling onto dough and fold over to form a round bun. Lay folded-side-down in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Let pockets rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place. While the pockets are doing their final rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

NOTES:

- These freeze well! Just bake and cool. Then freeze them individually on a cookie sheet for about 90 minutes, pop them into a Ziploc bag, and roll out the air. When you’re ready for one, microwave it for about 45 seconds, and viola – a quick snack is yours!

- It’s totally delish if you use Rhodes Rolls instead of making your own bread. Just let them thaw and rise for the first rise! (Steve actually prefers them this way - easier for me!)

- Instead of the ground beef and sausage mixture, try using ham with Gouda cheese! Yuum!

- If you want to use your bread maker to do the dough stage, add about an extra ¾ - 1 cup of flour.

- Try using drained sauerkraut instead of the cabbage! It adds a yummy zing! These would also be great with potatoes added in too!

- If you need/want to go even easier, use jumbo flaky biscuits (8 per can) or jumbo buttermilk biscuits. You can also use the bagged shredded coleslaw/cabbage mix.

- Another easy, quick alternative is to put ½ slice of prepackaged American cheese onto the roll before stuffing it (this is instead of adding the cheese to the mixture too)

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