A runza (also called a bierock, krautburger, or kraut pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. Runzas can be baked into various shapes such as a half-moon, a rectangle, a round (bun), a square, or a triangle. The runzas sold by the Runza restaurant chain are rectangular while many of the bierocks sold in Kansas are round buns.
The runza is a regional cuisine of Nebraska, with some commentators calling it “as Nebraskan as Cornhusker football. It is served by the Nebraska Society of Washington, D.C. and the Nebraska Society of New York at their Taste of Nebraska events and was chosen to represent the state at Flavored Nation, an event serving iconic dishes from all fifty states.
- 4 cups ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees F/40 to 45 degrees C)
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ⅔ cup instant dry milk powder
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook and stir ground beef and onion until beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Stir in cabbage and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Continue to cook and stir until cabbage is tender, about 20 more minutes. Set mixture aside to cool.
- Mix warm water and butter in a large bowl. Combine dry milk powder, sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and yeast in another bowl; stir into butter mixture. Add egg and gradually stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough is smooth.
- Roll dough out to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface; cut into 4-inch squares. Scoop beef mixture into each dough square. Bring corners of a dough square together at the top and pinch corners together to seal. Place on a baking sheet, seam-side down. Repeat with remaining beef mixture and dough. Cover rolls with a damp cloth and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)
- Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes