Guest Post: Bierox and “Take it away, mom!”

We traveled north to see the Iowa residents (read Mom, Sis, BiL, and Nephews I & II) for Memorial Day.  As always, there’s lots of fun, family and food.

Mom whipped up a favorite recipe, one that I remember her making when we were growing up as well.  I snapped a few pictures of the finished product and later asked her to do a guest post for EE.

Take it away, Mom!

Bierox in a basket.

Bierox have become a favorite of the family in recent years.  Most recently I made them during grandson’s graduation party weekend.  Sometimes they are called bierock and are a relative of runzas.  I was recently talking about making bierox and my pastor said, “Those are runzas.”  She is from Nebraska where there are chains of runza restaurants.  It seems these tasty meat pies came from Eastern Europe.

Runzas are usually rectangular while bierox are round.  A bierox and beer help many celebrate Octoberfest both here and in Germany.
The recipe I use was from a cookbook written many years ago by the daughter of a German immigrant who lived near me in the Valley in N.W. Oklahoma where I grew up.  Some prefer a sweet roll dough while many just use any light roll dough recipe.  The savory filling made with only cabbage, onions and ground beef will delight young and old.  Each cook may have their variation of the fillings.

These freeze well if you should be so lucky as to have any left over.  They can be served with mustard.  Some cut them open and squirt mustard into the cavity and others prefer to dip the bierox in mustard.  They can be served with many types of mustard.

If you don’t enjoy making yeast breads like I do you can buy frozen bread dough or rolls.

I helped mom make the filling and stuff the bierox.  (She made the dough.)  The filling is simple but is deceptively delicious.   I know we started out with a whole basket full of these pastries but with Nephew I & II, there were not many left at the end of lunch.  
Thanks for helping out today, Mom!!!   Congratulations on being the first guest poster at Eliot’s Eats!

Bierox Bread Dough


This is a two part recipe.  Start the dough first.   Mom mentions an alternative and buying frozen bread dough.  Let me say that this recipe is worth the effort so persevere and make this bread!


  • 2 T. sugar
  • 2 T. shortening
  • 1 1/2 pkg. yeast
  • 1 1/2 c. warm water
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 t. salt
  • flour


  1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water. Combine milk, sugar, shortening and salt. Scald and cool. Add yeast.
  2. When cool, add enough flour to form a sponge. Let rise.
  3. Stir down add enough flour to make a stiff dough and let rise a second time. Roll out and cut into 6-inch squares.
  4. While dough is rising, make the filling.

Bierox Filling


This filling is simple but delicious.   If you have leftover filling, it freezes nicely.


  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium head cabbage, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicon pad.
  2. Slowly cook ground beef and onions over medium heat, stirring often and breaking up the ground beef (about 20 minutes).
  3. Add cabbage and continue to stir and cook for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of the rolled out dough squares (from previous recipe). Fold in corners and seal. Place sealed side down on a prepared baking sheet.
  5. Let rise for 15 minutes.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Serve with mustard (and maybe a beer) and enjoy!

Most recently, mom sent me a follow-up email.   She was wondering if my grandmother had given us a copy of this cookbook.

I didn’t have this copy, but Rosa had published a more slender volume that my sister and I both have.   (Notice the wear on mom’s cookbook above.)

Mom also shared some more information with me about Rosa, the author:

She died at age 99 this week.  That is the book [see above] that has the bierox recipe in it.  Her parents were Ditch Valley residents and were the ones mentioned in The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl  you got me several years ago.  They were immigrants from Germany and settled around Shattuck  before moving to Ditch Valley.

I think Mom and I should explore some more recipes in Rosa’s Best Recipes.   What do you think?

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