It's been years since I first had the pastry filled with meat. I just remember how good it was.
It's been said that Germans from Russia (Volga Germans--an ethnic group in Russia) were German-speaking people who arrived in the United States and many settled chiefly in the Dakotas, Kansas, and Nebraska by 1900.
At best, it's believed bierocks were first made in Eastern Europe and gained popularity in the United States during the late 1800s when German-Russian Mennonite immigrants carried the recipe to Kansas. The yeast-dough pocket sandwich while used to be considered a necessary hearty meal, is not a popular menu item by those who know how to make it good.
What is bierock?
A bierock is a savory, soft, and sweet yeast bread roll that contains a filling that is typically ground beef, cabbage, onion, and spices. Some venues might make a variation of the filling. The above image includes peppers. Simply put, consider the bierock as an upscale pocket sandwich, especially when it's made from scratch.
Needless to say, the bierock recipe has been passed down for decades in Kansas.
Where can you find bierock?
Here are some restaurants in Kansas serving bierock.
- Park Street Pastry, 103 East Park Street, Olathe, KS 66061
- Friendship House, 507 Ash Street, Wamego, KS 66547 (according to this restaurant, Saturdays are for bierocks and pies)
- M&M Bierock, 2065 E Central Avenue, Wichita, KS 67214 (a restaurant having bierock in its name says something)
- Burdette's Bierocks, 1217 East Douglas, Wichita, KS 67211 (food truck serving gourmet bierocks behind Lucky's Everyday--read about the chef's new side gig here)
- Gella's Diner, 117 East 11th Street, Hays, KS 67601 (serves up the traditional bierock topped with a creamy cheese sauce)
If you don't want to drive to Kansas, try a bierock in Missouri at Bloom Baking Co. at the City Market located at 15 East 3rd Street in Kansas City, Missouri.
Savory ground chuck, shredded cabbage and onions perfectly seasoned and baked inside of a fresh roll. This is the classic Volga German style served warm with spicy brown mustard on the side. (Source.)
How do you make bierock?
Visit here for a classic recipe that was shared on Taste of Home by a Kansas resident who said,
This is an old German recipe handed down from generation to generation, using foods grown or raised on the family farm. I remember helping my grandmother make these when I could barely see over the kitchen table!
There are hundreds of recipes for bierock on the internet. Try as many as you want until you find that one recipe that works for you. Here's another one from the Kansas Farm Food Connection website.
Baker Bettie indicates that bierock is also known as runza, which is essentially the same thing.
Bierocks have to be one of the best things ever to have on a chilly morning!
Thanks for reading!