Runzas (Bierocks)

This meat pocket recipe is delish!! It’s a German family recipe, and well worth the work. Now let me tell you about the work. This recipe is a total nightmare and a ton of work. I made the mistake of making them on a Sunday and not firing up my bread machine until 4 pm. Big mistake!! I recommend making the meat a day ahead so that the flavors can mingle. That is so important in this recipe. They are a lot of work, but the end result is so good you won’t hesitate to make them again in the future. It’s very important to follow the steps in this recipe to the letter this will help you stay organized.

Meat ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium head cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2 pound of carrots shredded
  • 1 bunch of green onions diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 3 TBS of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of accent
  • 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella (Reserve until the end)

Directions for the meat:

  1. Brown beef, cabbage, green onions, garlic and carrots in a large skillet
  2. Drain off any grease and return to the heat
  3. Seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, then add 1/2 tsp of accent, onion powder, and soy sauce.
  4. At this point either set aside to cool down, then refrigerate for another day or set aside allowing the meat to become room temperature for same day use.  

Dough- For the dough you can either use premade dough, frozen or refrigerated. I chose to make my own which is time consuming, but well worth the taste in the end. I used my bread machine for the sake of ease, and time, but you can certainly make it by hand also.


  • 1 1/8 cups water (70 to 80 degrees F)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh basil (optional)
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
Directions: (Bread machine)
  1. In bread machine pan, place the first nine ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer.
  2. Select dough setting (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
  3. When cycle is completed, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface
  4. Using a rolling pin roll your dough flat.
  5. Using a 3 inch in diameter cutter. I used a Gladware container (Only fancy fixin’s used here) continue rolling and cutting until you have 18 rounds

How it all comes together:

  1. Place a spoonful of the beef mixture onto the center of each dough round and sprinkle  with mozzarella cheese
  2. Take a second dough round and top the first one.
  3. With a fork go around the outside of the rounds pinching the bread together with the tines of the fork
  4. If you are still having problems getting the dough to seal use your fingers to pinch it together
  5. Be sure to poke a few holes in the top of your meat pies to insure the steam can escape
  6. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and lay each meat pocket on the pan and cover with a towel
  7. Allow the meat pockets to rest and rise for 30-45 minutes
  8. Bake on 350 degree for 20 minutes or until they are brown. Check on them frequently to insure they don’t get over cooked. You want the pocket to be nice and soft.

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