This is a German/Russian pasty (bëroks) recipe for cabbage, onions and hamburger baked in a bread pocket. My good friend and card partner, Arlene, gave me this recipe back in 1974. We made them for football games, tail-gate picnics, day trips, and card games. They are loaded with black pepper and really go down well with mustard and a beer. Our husbands loved them so there was rarely any leftover after a weekend of activities. They’re also great right out of the oven or cold for lunch boxes and traveling.
Colorado and Nebraska have long histories of Russian and German immigrants who settled and worked the land into farms. They were hardy people with hardy appetites who lived off the bounty of their farms; harvesting and grinding wheat for flour, raising and butchering animals, canning and preserving from the garden to the fruit orchards. I have a very old cookbook written by the German/Russian Society in Loveland, Colorado that is chock-a-block full of fabulous vintage recipes. I’ll do a book review later on – yes, it’s still in print.
- 2 lb hamburger meat
- 1 large head of cabbage, shredded
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 Tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 recipe for 2 loaves basic white bread, or 2 loaves frozen bread dough
While bread dough is proofing, brown hamburger in a large stock pot or Dutch oven, add onions to sweat for 10 minutes, add cabbage and cook until wilted, add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until cabbage and onions are done. Drain in a colander and let cool. Preheat oven to 350° F. Roll out bread dough 1/3 inch thick, cut 16 squares (4 or 5 inches each). Place 1 heaping spoonful (about 1/3 cup) of meat filling in center of dough square. Bring opposite corners together and seal. The buns should be oblong in shape. Place filled buns on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in center of oven until dark golden brown on top, 20-25 minutes. Check the bottom crust for doneness, if not done, cover pockets loosely with foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to a rack, brush with melted butter. When completely cooled, place in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate. These freeze well also. Reheat in a 350° F oven for 10 – 15 minutes.