Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kraut Burger

I know you are already sitting there with your head cocked to the side, thanking..."What the heck is THAT"?

Here is the definition per Wikipedia:
runza (also called a bierockfleischkuche or Kraut Pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beefporkcabbage orsauerkrautonions, and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle. In Nebraska, the runza is usually baked in a rectangular shape. The bierocks of Kansas, on the other hand, are generally baked in the shape of a bun.
I have heard of them called "Kraut Burgers" recently. The sandwich originated in Russia during the 1800s and spread to Germany before appearing in the United States. The term bierock comes from the Russian word pirogi or pirozhki and is the term for any food consisting of a savory filling stuffed dough. The recipe was spread throughout the United States by the Volga Germans and can be found in North and South Dakota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska. The term "runza" is registered as a trademark in the United States by Nebraska-based Runza Restaurants

In Nebraska "Runza" is a trademarked fast food chain.  They are delicious.  Well my husband hates them but tonight he loved mine.  He informed me they almost tasted like a White Castle Burger. What?  Anyway, my opinion is, homemade bread makes all the difference.  This is a recipe I got from my mom. Let's get moving on gettin'er done.

Bread Dough for Kraut Burgers
5-6 cups of flour
2 pkg's dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
1/2 cup butter softened
2 eggs

Combine 2 cups flour, yeast and sugar.  Put into stand mixer fitted with a dough hook  and combine completely.  Add butter and hot water, mix 2 minutes and add eggs and 1 more cup of flour.  Let mix for 2 minutes and add remaining 2 cups of flour, 1 at a time.  I had to end up using an extra 1/2 cup.  Let knead for 3 minutes or until your dough is a nice soft dough, not sticky.  Turn out into a bowl sprayed with nonstick spray or vegetable oil and let rise 45 minutes.  While it is raising, let's get to work on the filling!

2 lbs ground beef
4 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup onion, minced FINE  
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp butter
American Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a large pot, add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until translucent. (Even if you omit the onions, add the butter.) Add in ground beef and cook until browned and broken up well.  Add Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly.  Dump in cabbage (it will wilt a lot) and then mix again. 

Pour in stock and put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes on low stirring occasionally. 

Divide dough into 2 parts.  Roll each section out and cut into 6 pieces.  Put a piece of cheese in the middle (optional) and add as much filling as you can fit on! Bring all the corners to the middle and seal by pinching.

Flip over and put onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.   You should get 12 out of this batch of dough and filling.   When you are finished with all of them let them rise for 30-45 minutes.  Brush them with an egg wash or spray with nonstick cooking spray for a nice color.  Bake for 20-25 minutes

We made some round, made some long, just like the real Runza restaurant. That of course was my husband's idea because ya know, husbands get what they want right?  Ok mine does (lovey gushy eyes)  

I hope you enjoy these; I always have to have mine with ketchup!

Your "praying I didn't infringe on any copyright crap" chefwannabe


  1. you messed these up dear, no cheese, worchestershire sauce or beef stock.Saute the onins in butter then add your cabbage and let it cook down. Season with salt and pepper. while this is cooking, in a seperate pan, brown your ground beef and season with some salt pepper and a little minced garlic. Cool then mix with cabbage mix and then fill your bread. That's a kraut burger! And tell George they don't taste like white castle!

  2. You went cabbage not kraut? bold move, but doesn't it defy the name?

    1. I made mine we with cabbage and they turned out wonderful.
      Nice fresh flavor.

  3. @Karla, I may have messed up YOUR recipe, but this is my recipe! Salt and pepper don't add enough flavor for me!!
    @Jessica the only reason I called them a Kraut Burger is because I couldn't legally use the name Runza, which is what they really are. I know they are known as Kraut Burgers out west so I went with it. Don't judge......I didn't make the rules, I just know these are AMAZING. And YES cheese!!!!! THanks for reading guys!!

    1. Yes your own recipe is best.
      I add Jalapenos to mine.Sometimes mushrooms.
      And yes ....CHEESE PLZ.

  4. What an interesting food- I have pinned this to try soon. It looks good.

  5. My friend's Mom used to make these when we were kids. She used to deep fry them though...so delish.

  6. I live in Indiana and my sister lives in California, she introduced these to me about five years ago and I love them! She too calls them kraut burgers. She makes a lot then freezes so they can have anytime!

  7. My German-American grandmother that lived in Nebraska made these a lot. We call them Cabbage Burgers. And she didn't add cheese, beef stock or Worcestershire sauce. And she used Bridgeford frozen dough. They are a family favorite!

  8. I loved Beerocks...(what we called them when I was small)Back in Kansas,
    My mom used something called "Hot roll mix" it had the yeast..and something to mix with flour...but pretty much basic Beef, cabbage, salt,pepper. My Mom would make lots of them..freeze some to eat later. (I would poke a little hole in the top..and add ketchup.) :) Thanks for a lovely memory.
    In Ohio now~

  9. I do something similar, but I add caraway seeds to the burger-cabbage mix and use Swiss cheese.

  10. My grandma made the when I was a child. I still make them now with just the simplest of ingredients, and I would have them no other way. They are somewhat of a pain to make, so we only make them on special occasions. I love them, and it is ab s olive favorite food, and will be until the day I die.

    1. Hello! Thank you for reading and taking time to leave me a comment! The best commments I get are like this, bringing up a memory of someone you love! They are one of my all time favorites as well! They are a bit of a pain, or time consuming but so worth it! Thanks again for stopping by!

  11. I was raised on these as well. Throughout the years my family has played with the recipe and made many more recipes to fill the dough. Like Philly cheese steak, cheeseburger, fruit, pizza, I've added bacon and green Chile to the kraut burger recipe with mozzarella cheese. Yum

    1. OH MY GOSH. Genius, you are a GENIOS!!!!! I have got to try some fo these ideas!! Thank you Angel!!! Great having you stop by with these delicious change ups!!! <3 Chris

  12. So delicious...beedrock....German Kraut Burgers