February 2, 2011

Do I Smell Cabbage?

Susie: "Do I smell cabbage?"

Me: "Yes, you do."

Susie: "Oh good! RUNZAS!"

Runzas, as in Bierocks, as in Cabbage Rolls, as in German Meat Turnovers. I've heard them called all these things. But, regardless of what name you give them, they all share a common theme... yum, yum, goodness.

I especially like to make them on cold days when you can appreciate the oven being used.
They freeze well and are a favorite with my children.

*****  Now, I had every good intention of making Runzas for lunch. However, the stomach bug that had struck the littles on Monday, reared it's ugly head again on Tuesday. So, I thought it would be best for us to lay low and eat plain food. I would just make the Runzas before bed and have them ready for the next day.

So much for that thought.

I had the Runza dough laid out on the counter last night, a bottle made for the baby so she could go to sleep, and a movie ready to play for the rest of the children. Then, it happened...

Followed by a high-pitched princess scream.

"MOMEEEE!!!!" "Help me!" "OUCHIE!" "My finger!"

You guessed it right, a finger caught in the midst of a door slamming.

I am a wimp. I've worked in the medical field, and now that I stay at home, I've lost my nerve. I can't stand to see my babies bleeding. It rushes me right to the brink of over-reacting. I can't help myself.

Plus, fingers in doors is one of the many hideous, bloody, nightmarish scenes that I've reenacted in my mind over and over again. It always ends with part of the digit laying on the floor, my child bleeding fiercely and me... passed out on the floor, next to the digit.

Thanks be to God, it wasn't quite that bad. The pad of my baby's middle finger was sheared off, bleeding everywhere, and it was apparent that a trip to the emergency room had to be made. While a few logistics had to be overcome (and we thank our firefighter friend and his wife again for helping us) we headed towards the E.R. We arrived, they took us back right away, and that finger was tended to pretty darn quick.

 Instead of stitches, the princess ended up with Derma Bond to hold the tip of her little finger together. She was tough... as tough as a princess can be. It had been a rough day. And, after we arrived back home from the E.R., it was time for all of us to go to bed. *****
Ouchie! It still is bothersome today... but only when she looks at it.

Of course, everything is better with some princess stickers.

This morning was much better. No trauma and no big tummy aches.

So, it was time to finally get to making those Runzas... or whatever you want to call them, so we could have them for lunch.

The first thing you need to do is get your meat all browned up. Our recipe just calls for ground beef, but lately I've started spicing it up a bit by adding in sausage or chorizo. Make sure you put plenty of onion and garlic in too.

Then, after your meat is cooked, you need to drain the fat off and add your diced cabbage, salt and pepper, and a little water to help steam the cabbage.

Cover your pan and let it simmer for a few minutes, until the cabbage is cooked.

Now, put your filling in the refrigerator so it can cool (this is important) and start to make your dough.
Your dough will take a while to rise, and your meat will take a while to cool... so I guess you can use this time to do your dishes or sit on the couch and eat bon-bons.... or run your daughter to the E.R.

Then, after it has risen, you are going to roll it out, fairly thin (but not too thin), in a big rectangle shape. The goal is to get at least 16 squares of dough or more...

After you have your squares of dough cut out, it's time to add the filling.

Put a healthy dose of filling in the middle. You want it to fill up the the middle of the dough square, but not so much that it will be hard to seal.

Then, pinch opposite sides of the square together.

And then bring the other opposite sides of the square together.

After that, you will pinch those seams tight, so your filling doesn't leak out when it's cooking. Your dough will look better than mine... remember, I had to keep it in the fridge overnight due to a trip to the E.R.

Then, you bake those in the oven for a while (I put an egg wash on mine, just to make them look a little prettier) and when they are golden brown they are ready to eat! Yum!
We serve them with a dollop of ketchup and they are great! A wonderful, easy meal for a cold day.
And, don't be afraid to experiment with them. I know some people add cheese, carrots, potatoes... be creative and let me know how they turn out.


                                         1 1/2 pounds ground beef
                                         1/2 cup onion, chopped
                                         3 cups shredded cabbage
                                         1 1/2 tsp. salt
                                         1/2 tsp. pepper
                                         1/2 cup water

                                         1 pkg. dry yeast
                                         2 cups warm water
                                         1/2 cup sugar
                                         1 1/2 tsp. salt
                                         1 egg, beaten lightly
                                         1/4 cup soft butter
                                         6 1/2 cups flour

Directions: Brown beef and onion; drain grease. Add cabbage, seasoning and water. Simmer for 15 minutes or until cabbage is cooked. Cool. Divide among squares of dough.
                        Mix water and yeast, add sugar and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Add salt. Add egg and soft butter. Stir in flour. Knead well for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and let rise for about 1 hour. Roll out, about 1/2 inch thickness, in a big rectangle. Cut out squares of dough.

Bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.



Patty C. said...

how is it that i am german and have never heard of these? they sound so yummy! i'll have to try making them with my sisters (loren is not a fan of cabbage). thanks for the recipe, and i hope the princess is back to her normal self soon.

Linda said...

Patty, you'll enjoy them. You can even cheat a little and use store bought frozen bread dough. Or, if you don't have time to do it all at once, you can make the dough and filling the night before, put it in the fridge, then take it out the next day to assemble them. Super tasty!

Rani Gordon said...

Love runzas with Swiss cheese and mushrooms!

Rani Gordon said...

Mmmmm we love ours with Swiss cheese and mushrooms....