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The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor


The Architect


Beirochs Baby!

Every fall around this time a little bell goes off in my head and I immediately say, “It’s time to make beirochs!” I make them once a year, eat about seventy three of them and then I’m satiated until the following year. Look at them. Aren’t they lovely? I know you want them.

Now look at this. Isn’t it hideous? I know you don’t want this. I got into poison ivy. AGAIN!
I’ll post about my misery later, but now let’s go in the kitchen and I’ll make you some beirochs. Because now that you’ve gazed upon my puss filled face, don’t you want to cook some cabbage?
I’ve been eating beirochs since I was a little kid. They were part of our school lunch program. Bierochs are a German-Russian food brought over by the Mennonites. A large group of Mennonites settled the plains of Kansas and many of their foods have lingered and rooted into the culture of Kansas. When I made these in Missouri nobody knew what the heck they were. Now that we’re back in Kansas, when I say I’m making beirochs people ask me if I eat them with mustard or plain?

I know you’re going to ask me for a recipe. But, I don’t follow a recipe I just make them. Follow along, and you can make them too. Get a big bag or can of sauerkraut. Rinse and drain, then set aside.

Chop up a head of green cabbage…chop….chop….chop…

Combine the cabbage and sauerkraut in a large pot , add a bit of water and put it on the stove to soften the cabbage.

This year I used our pork sausage and some ground beef. I make a lot of beirochs, so I used about 2lbs of beef and 2lbs of pork sausage. Brown it , drain it, set aside.Chop a large yellow onion, saute in oil until tender and starting to caramelize…I like to taste the sweetness of the onions. Mix the onions with the meat.

See all the liquid in the cabbage that has cooked down? We need to drain that off before we mix it with the beef.Combine the cabbage and beef in a large pot and start to season. You can do just about anything you please. But what I like is to add ground mustard, salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Season to your liking is what I say. In years past, I’ve add a packet of soup mix. You can add cheese too. Ooooh, I love Swiss cheese in a beiroch. This year I left out the cheese, because I have more people in the house that like no cheese….but next year, I’m adding cheese.

You can stop here like I did. Store the mixture in the fridge, go find a wire brush and scratch your itchy face off and work on the dough the next day….or you can start the dough right now.

This year I made whole wheat dough and white dough. If I don’t feel like making the dough then I buy frozen Rhodes rolls and use them the same way. Find a simple wheat or white bread/roll recipe.

Here’s the wheat dough after it has risen and is ready to shape.
I quartered the dough then shaped it into a log.
Cut the log into about 1 1/2 inch sections.
Then cut those in half.

Now the dough is the size I need. I’m thinking buying the darn Rhodes rolls would be so much easier. But, then what would I blog about?
Patta-cake, patta-cake…. flatten the dough. Look at the blood blister on my pinkie. Blood blister, poison ivy, I’m every man’s dream.

Stretch the dough, cuz it’s got to be big enough for a big scoop of meat and cabbage, but don’t break it.

I use a large scoop, it’s probably 1/4 cup or maybe 2 tablespoon. Are you following me so far? This is how I cook people. It’s learn it, then do it. Put one scoop of cabbage/meat mixture onto the flattened dough.

Now draw up the edges.

Start pinching together the dough until you have the entire mixture completely encased in the dough.

Like this.
Put it on a greased baking sheet and proceed to making 4,598 more. Making beirochs is a commitment. You can’t walk away. You have to be there, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching, scooping, pinching, patting, stretching. ARE YOU CHEF ENOUGH FOR IT!

Bake those babies for 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven and watch your family love you and then watch as they hate you because you are going to make them eat beirochs for every meal for the next eight weeks.

Mmmmm. So good.

My family likes the white dough the best, go figure.
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