I recently read an article about the beauty of recipes that have been passed down for generations, and how those who know how to make such things NEED to pass on that knowledge whether anyone asks for it or not. It's the duty of the knowledge holders to find someone who wants to learn. Otherwise the knowledge is lost.
Thankfully, my grandmother (who turned 95 this past August) has generously passed down her recipes. A few years ago my sweetheart of an aunt, Aunt Charlotte, started the monumental project of tracing over all of my grandmother's faded pencil written recipes and making photo copies of them, printing them, binding them, and distributing them to all the relatives. Sadly, my aunt passed away before her project was finished. But her husband and some other relatives pressed on and completed it. Thanks to them, we all have a copy of my grandmother's cook book.
The title? Kissin' Don't Last, Cookin' Do.
I've been trying to make a point of making something out of this book for my family each month, and of course I'm starting with the things I remember. And since my Dad specifically requested Bierock's for his birthday it made sense to start with that.
Bierock's are essentially an eastern European version of a savory hand pie. Seems like nearly every culture has their version: empanada's and calzone's come to mind. It's a convenience food. It can be wrapped in a lunch box, eaten on the go, made in a huge batch it freezes well for a quick weeknight meal. Add a salad, and you're in business.
This time around, I took my grandma's recipe and combined it with some other recipes that I found online. And I had one lonely carrot in my crisper, so I threw that in too.
It all starts with 2 lbs of hamburger in a skillet browned with an onion and minced garlic clove. Once that's done, add 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper. Then shred a small head of cabbage and put that in, along with 2 Tablespoons of worcestershire sauce and 2 teaspoons of caraway seeds. Cook until cabbage is wilted. The end result is this:
Then you get out your dough. You can use whatever you like. I know my grandma makes her own, and I've heard that you can also use those refrigerated biscuits from a can. I used two loaves of frozen dough, and then I set it on my counter to thaw/rise according the the package directions. It takes about 4-6 hours depending upon the temperature of your room.
Then I rolled out one loaf at a time and cut it into 6 wedge shapes.
Put 1/4 cup of the filling on each wedge and then fold the corners to the center and press the seams together. It doesn't have to be perfect, remember, this is a peasant dish.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. The result is a heavenly smell in your kitchen and hot yumminess inside of bread.
2 loaves of frozen bread dough, thawed
2 lbs of ground beef
1 yellow onion
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 small head of cabbage
2 tablespoons worchestershire sauce
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1. Place bread dough in a greased bowl on the counter and cover with towel for about 4-6 hours before you're planning to cook. If you need to leave it longer than that you can thaw in the fridge overnight.
2. Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Add salt and lemon pepper. Shred the cabbage and add it once the beef is cooked along with worchestershire sauce and caraway seeds. Drain liquid.
3. Roll out dough 1 loaf at a time on a floured surface. Cut into 6 wedge shapes. Place 1/4 cup meat mixture onto each wedge. Fold each corner to the center and press seams together so that no meat is exposed. Perfection is not part of this recipe. Rustic is a good word for it. :) Place each pastry on a cookie sheet.
4. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.