Happy 40th Birthday to My Husband and Bierocks

Today has arrived. It is the day that all children think will never come to them. That thought is the reason children behave inappropriately, because they have no idea age 40 will indeed get to them too! So, Happy Birthday dear, may your 40th year of life be a little more appropriate! (Yes, we have a substantial sense of humor)

If I had to guess what your favorite meal of mine was, I’d fail. You love so many things I make and call it your favorite that my best option would be to cook it all and call it a buffet, but I think that’s what they do at funerals so… not doing that.

Here is your favorite recipe of your grandmothers .. as close as I can come up with anyway. These can be called Swevaks, Bierocks, or as you tell me your grandmother called them: Spekukin.

Bierocks are meat-filled pocket pastries originating in Eastern Europe, possibly in Germany or Russia. The dish is common among the Volga German community in the United States and Argentina. It was brought to the United States in the 1880s by German Russian Mennonite immigrants. Bierock is filled with cooked and seasoned ground beef, shredded cabbage and onions, then oven baked until the dough is golden brown. Some variants include grated carrots.
Other spellings are bieroch, beerock, berrock, bierox, beerrock and kraut bierock in the U.S, and Pirok or Kraut Pirok in Argentina.
Bierocks are similar to the pirogi of Russian cuisine. It is likely that etymologically bierock (pronounced somewhere between “brock” and “brook” in Nebraska and “beer-rock” in Kansas) is borrowed from Russian or Ukraninian pirog, or from some other East or West Slavic vernacular.

  • 2 packs yeast
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 4 cups + 4 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup lard
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork
  • 2 onions (chopped)
  • 1 head of cabbage (shredded)
  • Seasonings to taste (salt & pepper, soy sauce, herbs of choice, and seasonings such as: garlic salt, pepper, caraway, a Bavarian herb mix, and soy.)

Pre-heat oven to 350. Start out with three mixing bowls.

  • In the smallest, proof your yeast mixture: yeast, tablespoon sugar, and water.
  • In the middle bowl, mix the milk, salt, and 3/4 cup sugar.
  • In the large bowl, mix the 4 cups flour and the lard, then the eggs.

Put all this stuff together into the big bowl and mix. This is the batter. Let it rise.
After the batter has risen, mix in the other 4 cups of flour, knead, and let the dough rise again.
While it rises, start the filling in a pot on the stove: brown the ground beef, add and cook the onions (chopped) and the cabbage (shredded) and the seasonings to taste.
Punch down, cut in half then roll out pieces of dough, spoon filling on, and wrap them up.
Bake about 15 minutes on sprayed sheets. You may brush melted butter on top right after the come out of the oven.

Serve them with spicy mustard or sour cream and a cucumber salad in summer, or with some pickled stuff in winter.

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