*tummy grumble*

I’ve got a craving for a homemade bierock sandwich and a glass of beer. I haven’t had one since the early 80s… I would lunch at Brent’s Gramma & Great-grandma’s house (with Brent, of course) on the odd Saturday, after helping out around the yard and doing assorted chores. Faux-Gramma Ashland made a sandwich in a bread pocket with a filling of ground beef, sauerkraut, onions, and seasonings. It was fantastically filling and tasty meal, especially when she’d slip some swiss cheese in there (infrequently). I probably ate a thousand of those things over 1983/1984. Note…I’ve never had one with a glass of beer. She served ’em with milk. That woman took great joy in feeding me, and I enjoyed eating what she set out, a sweet arrangement all around. (Best food I ate that decade, I’d wager.) She’d chide Brent terribly about how picky he was… He would always have grilled cheese or a grilled bologna sandwich with tomato soup. That was it. No bierocks, no homemade liverwurst, no goblin-fart bread, no cabbage or kraut. He wouldn’t even eat potato pancakes. Little wonder he was so thin.

I bet I could make some outstanding (and far more healthy) ones with “soy beef”. I’m not sure what seasonings she used…let’s see what the internet says…quite a few hits just say salt and pepper to taste…. some less palatable looking than others. I’m going to go with this one. Looks pretty simple, though I’ve never made anything inside a bread shell before.

Krautranzen or Bierocks – 4 servings


1 tsp salt
2 tbsp (scant) active dry yeast
3 1/2 c bread flour
1/2 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 c lukewarm milk
Dissolve yeast in warm water until bubbly. Heat milk to lukewarm. In mixing bowl combine shortening and sugar and beat well. Add eggs and beat. Add milk and salt.

Gradually add 3-3 1/2 cups flour. If using mixer with dough hook, finish according to machine directions. If kneading by hand, turn dough out onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough. Cover with plastic wrap, set in warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk.

[hooray for scotto’s bread machine, and it’s dough feature!]


1 lb lean ground beef [replacing with ‘soy beef’]
1/2 c soft shortening
1 medium-sized head of cabbage
1/2 c sugar
1 large onion, chopped
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet brown beef and season. Drain off excess fat. Add onion and cabbage and steam until cabbage is tender. Salt and pepper to taste and cool.

Punch dough down. Divide in half and roll out onto lightly floured board. Roll dough into 12″x24″ rectangles. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Divide half of the filling equally on each square. Wet edges of dough with water. Bring opposite corners of squares together. Pinch edges together tightly. Place, seam side down, on a greased baking sheet. Cover lightly and let stand in a warm place until light. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Bake at 350 degree F. for about 15 minutes. Brush with margarine while still hot. Cool. Serve warm or cold.

From Mennonite Foods and Folkways From South Russia by Norma Jost Voth.

It’s so strange to think that those days are so long gone… I can remember some of the goofy jokes and conversations we’d have over doing lawn duty, picking up pine cones and hedge cuts into trash bags. Talking about Vladimir the evil spy, Scout Troop 395, Pete, designing the Delsig, programming on the new Apple ][e.

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