Monday, June 4, 2012

Summer Lunch Program >> Nebraska Beef Buns

Summer Lunch Program

a semi-sporadic series
fun lunchtime recipes

Just In Time For Summer Vacation!

Nebraska Beef Buns
or, Bierocks

1/2  Cup  Whole Milk
1/2  Cup  Water
6  Tablespoons  Butter
1/4  Cup  Sugar
3-1/2 to 3-3/4  Cups  Flour
1  Tablespoon Instant or Rapid-Rise Yeast
1/2  teaspoon  Salt
1  large  Egg, lightly beaten -and-
1  large  Egg, beaten with 1  Tablespoon  Water

4  teaspoons  Oil
2  pounds  90%-lean  Ground Beef
Black Pepper
1  Onion, chopped fine
1/2  small head  Green Cabbage, cored and chopped fine, about 4 Cups
1  Cup  low-sodium  Chicken Broth
2  Cups  shredded Co-Jack Cheese

For the Dough:
Combine the Milk, Water, Butter, and Sugar in a 2-cup microwaveable liquid measuring cup.  Microwave until temperature registers 110*, 1 to 2 minutes.  Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix 3-1/2 cups Flour, Yeast, and Salt on low until combined.  With mixer running, slowly add Milk mixture and single beaten Egg until incorporated and dough comes together, about 3 minutes.  Increase speed to medium-low (#2 for Kitchen Aid) and continue to mix until dough is smooth and pulls away from sides of bowl, about 8 minutes.  If, after 4 minutes, dough looks wet, add remaining 1/4-cup Flour, one Tablespoon at a time, until dough clears sides of bowl but sticks to bottom.  Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 50-60 minutes.

For the Filling:
Heat 2 teaspoons Oil in Dutch Oven over medium-high heat.  Add Beef, 1 teaspoon Salt, and 1 teaspoon Black Pepper and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until liquid evaporates and meat begins to sizzle, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain meat in colander and set aside.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons Oil to the same Dutch Oven and heat over medium-high.  Add Onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until just until beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the drained Beef, chopped Cabbage, and Chicken Broth.  Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until Cabbage is tender, about 5 minutes.  Uncover and continue to cook until liquid evaporates and mixture begins to sizzle, 5 to 7 minutes.  (When I made this, I never could get all the liquid to evaporate.  I ended up just draining it off at this point.)  Season with Salt and Black Pepper to taste.  Transfer to bowl and let cool 15 minutes.  Stir in Cheese and let cool to room temperature.

To Assemble and Bake:
Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat to 375*.  Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper (and if you don't have parchment paper, just grease the pans well--DON'T use waxed paper; it sticks to the bottom of the Buns!).  Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and divide into 12 equal (2-3/4 ounce) portions.  Working with 1 dough ball at a time, roll out into a 5-1/2-inch round.  Transfer 1/2-cup lightly-packed filling to center, pressing to compact to filling.  Stretch edges of the dough to just cover the filling; pinch together to seal.  Arrange 6 Beef Buns, seams side down, on each prepared baking sheet, 2 inches apart.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.

Discard plastic wrap, brush the Beef Buns with the Egg/Water mixture, and bake until golden brown, 22 to 25 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets halfway through baking.  Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes 12 Beef Buns.

I made this one Saturday for our dinner the next day--I placed the Buns directly on the oven rack and baked at 350* for about 10 minutes to reheat and crisp them.  They were yummy!  The following week I doubled the recipe to put some in the freezer for weekday lunches.  When I doubled the recipe I ended up needing more dough so I mixed up another batch.  I needed only half of this second batch, so I shaped the extra dough into dinner rolls.  Yay for bonus batches!

{If anyone knows how to pronounce these, could you let me know?
Is is Bee-rocks?  By-rocks?  Beer-ocks?
All I know is that they're good!}

This is what happens if you roll the Dough too thin--
the Bierocks Burst whilst Baking.

From Cook's Country magazine, June/July 2012.


amyjane30 said...

Hilarious!!!! In Nebraska we call those things Runzas!

marciap said...

One of my favorite sandwiches! We have a restaurant here called Runza that makes delightful ones. I use this recipe when I want to make them but they are never quite the same.