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Wingin’ It: Bierocks make a portable meal to take on Kansas City

Kinda like an upscale Hot Pocket

You like football. You like food. So do we! So much so, in fact, that we smash the two together to bring you a Buffalo Bills-inspired recipe each week. Whether it’s a take on an opponents’ fave or some real mad scientist **** coming your way, Wingin’ It is the spot to watch. This week we’re prepping for Kansas City!

Wingin it bierocks

No long story this week (hope you enjoyed last week’s though). Bierocks are a German dish that the internet tells me is popular in Kansas City. I have no idea if this is true, but they sounded good. This is my latest entry in the “Food shoved in some sort of dough” series. This time it’s a sweeter roll, with ground beef and veggies (and hot sauce of course). Typically it’s cabbage and onion, but I give it a more Buffalo twist on the inside.

Buffalo Bierocks

Makes: 10 bierocks (each is roughly a sandwich)
Active Time: 40 min
Total Time: 90 min


1 cup warm water (about 110ºF)
14 cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast
2 Tbsp spreadable butter
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
3 12 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
12 lb ground beef
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup shredded cabbage
14 cup hot sauce
12 tsp caraway seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 Tbsp melted butter OR egg wash (50/50 egg and water mix)

  1. Combine water and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle packet of yeast over the sugar-water mixture, and let sit until “foamy” (5-10 min—temperature makes a big difference here).
  2. Stir in spreadable butter, salt, and egg (lumps in butter at this point are fine).
  3. Mix in flour until dough is smooth and slightly tacky.
  4. Cover dough ball in oil; place in bowl and cover with foil or plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour. Prepare filling while waiting.
  5. Brown ground beef in a large pan on MED; drain.
  6. Return to heat and add butter, onion, and celery to pan. Sauté until onions start to turn translucent, about 4-5 min.
  7. Add cabbage, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds; reduce heat to MED/LOW. Simmer about 20 min, stirring occasionally (aim for low liquid content since this is going in bread). Remove filling from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Once dough has roughly doubled in size (see pictures below) separate into ten balls on a nonstick surface.
  9. Flatten dough to slightly less than half-inch thickness.
  10. Scoop in roughly two tablespoons of filling per ball and close. This is a sticky dough so there’s not much of a trick to it, just pull it over the filling and pinch to seal (see below).
  11. Place bierocks on a nonstick cookie sheet or baking tray; bake 25-30 min, until golden brown in color.
  12. OPTIONAL: About 20 min into baking, brush tops of bierocks with butter or egg wash. If using egg wash like I did, make sure the tops are thoroughly cooked before serving.

Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery

A lot of pictures this week. Let’s bullet point ‘em!

  1. The internet had tremendous resources on just about everything. But for some reason, when I first started using yeast for various doughs and had questions, no one had a good answer. Do I stir it in? Do I “mush” it up in the water? This **** is alive! I NEED answers on how to handle it. Turns out it’s really easy. I just sprinkle it on top of the water. Pic 1 is immediately after doing so.
  2. The next pic is a minute or two later. The yeast absorbs water and most of it sinks to the bottom. The reality though is that mixing the sugar (yeast food) and water before adding the packet means any yeast anywhere in the water is in a pretty decent environment to do its thing.
  3. The third pic should be easy to recognize because it’s a GIF. This is the yeast “blooming.” The GIF is the bare minimum you should see. I didn’t get the most active reaction, which will start with what I’m showing and end with a thick foam on top of the water. That’s OK. This step is all about making sure you have live yeast. The actual magic happens during the rising and baking. On the flip side, if you see nothing after about 10 min you probably need to start over. I actually had to this week as I suspect I had a pack of dead yeast. If the water is too hot, that can destroy the yeast as well. Most people can use tap water.
  4. Another thing that might cause undue stress is the idea of dough “doubling.” Like me, the first couple times you do this you might be thinking “height.” This pic and the next show a pretty good doubling. You’re looking for total volume to be double. Height and width should be nowhere near double.
  5. This pic shows the filling before the hot sauce step. If you look close you can see the milky/translucent red onion looks different than the cabbage. When cooking anything for long periods of time like we do here, always add high density items first (onions/celery). Adding the cabbage in with those would result in mush.
  6. This one has the pinch technique. The dough is very forgiving and of all the “food in dough” recipes I’ve done (Knish, Empanada, Pierogi), this is the easiest to close and it’s not even a contest. The last couple pics are just more of the finished product.