I like to stuff things in things. When I was young, one of my favorite games was Operation. Do you remember that game? Did you like it? Or did it drive you to add Vodka to your sippy cup? I’m beginning to wonder if my first White Russian wasn’t created in similar fashion.
Well, I. LOVED. IT. I loved finding the right piece to go in the right place. Another game I adored was Perfection. How about that one? Do you remember this?
Same concept. I’ve always loved to match things where they belong. I think it’s my OCD tendencies demanding everything has its place. Which brings me to our Monday night dinner.
Monday’s dinner was Cabbage Rolls with a wedge salad and yeast rolls. As I was making the dough I vaguely remembered mama telling me about this divine dish she had in Germany, which was where she learned to make cabbage rolls or Kohlrouladen. They would take the cabbage roll, among other things, and wrap them in bread dough to make a stuffed pocket. They were called Runzas.
Wiki defines Runzas as follows: A runza (also called a bierock, fleischkuche or Kraut Pirok) is a yeast dough bread pocket with a filling consisting of beef, pork, cabbage or sauerkraut, onions and seasonings. They are baked in various shapes such as a half-moon, rectangle, round (bun), square, or triangle. In Nebraska, the runza is usually baked in a rectangular shape. The bierocks of Kansas on the other hand, are generally baked in the shape of a bun.
Good to know. See, we actually do learn a little something together 🙂 Now I feel the need to create bierocks. Isn’t that just a fun sounding food? Bierocks; Sounds like something off a Flintstones menu doesn’t it?
So the Runzas sounded just amazing and it gave me the perfect chance to stuff something in something else. Let’s face it, anything stuffed in yeast roll dough equals a happy girl.
The rolling and stuffing commenced. I served them to Hass who looked a bit puzzled at first to see nothing but two big fat yeast rolls on a plate with sauce. I guess he thought I had resorted to old school prison meals of bread and water. I looked at him, he looked at me, shrugged and dug in. He’s such a good eater. He doesn’t really question much.
Then came my favorite part of the meal. When his eyes get that little twinkle and he says, “This is really good! Mmmmm”
After four Runzas between us, I can officially say, we were…stuffed.
Cabbage Roll Runzas
- 1 batch yeast roll or bread dough – purchased or homemade (my dough recipe listed here)
- 1 pound ground sirloin, chicken, or turkey
- 1/2 pound Italian sausage – casing removed
- 1 can diced tomatoes – drained
- 4 cups marinara – store bought or homemade (my recipe below)
- 1 onion – diced
- 4 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 tbsp. Thyme
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 2 cups rice – brown or white
- 8 large cabbage leaves
Prepare dough through the first rise. Leave covered.
In a skillet, brown meat with seasonings, garlic and onion. Add diced tomatoes and 1 cup marinara sauce. Add rice. Mix all ingredients well. Mixture should be thick. Place about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each leaf; fold in sides. Roll leaf to completely enclose filling. Place seam side down and set aside.
Divide dough into 8 equal balls. Roll out one dough ball at a time into a circle, placing one rolled cabbage in the center. Bring sides of dough up and around the cabbage roll to cover. Place dough filled cabbage roll seam side down in a greased 13×9 pan. Continue this until all cabbage rolls are wrapped in dough and placed in the baking pan.
Bake rolls at 350 for about 30 minutes or until bread is baked completely. Serve hot with additional marinara sauce over the top.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about two or three large cloves)
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano (if using fresh, add at the end of the cooking time)
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes (undrained) or 2 pounds diced fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes – omit or decrease if you prefer little to no spice
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients. Allow to simmer about an hour, then cool. Make SURE to cool BEFORE you place in blender. Puree in blender for smooth consistency.
I like stuffed! Bon appetit’ y’all!