Bierock Bake

This recipe has been a work in progress over the years.  Way back in college, one of my roommates introduced me to Cabbage Pockets.  They were so good.

For many years, I made Cabbage Pockets as a mixture of hamburger, onion, cabbage, and seasoning.  At first I made my bread dough.  Then I started buying frozen bread.  Then I started buying the frozen rolls.  The problem for me was that between working full-time and a growing boy with lots of activity the bread just took too much time and I couldn’t find the time to make them.  Quite honestly, I also didn’t think it was as good.

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On my second visit to the Kansas State Fair, probably over 10 years ago, I found my (all time) favorite food stand.  I believe it’s operated by a Mennonite family, and they serve bierocks that are awesome!  I’m not particularly forceful about things like where we’re going to eat, but when we go to the Kansas State Fair, don’t even ask me if we can eat elsewhere – we will be eating these amazing bierocks.  One thing that they do differently is that they add shredded carrots into their mixture.

Back to my kitchen – one day when time was short, I decided to make the bierock mixture (with carrots), put the mixture on the bottom of a casserole dish and top with crescent rolls.  Wow – that was way quicker and tasty!  My brother-in-law offered up that it would be even better with a layer of cheese.  Well, of course, everything is better with cheese.  My work in progress recipe was nearly perfected.  I sense seen other versions of this, but this is how I make it.

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Even better, this recipe works really well to make ahead and freeze.  See below for freezer meal instructions.

Bierock Bake

1 pound ground beef

6 ounces cabbage, shredded

Half of one onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, shredded

1-2 cups of cheddar cheese, shredded

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 can of crescent rolls

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop and shred all vegetables. This is important, the vegetables will cook with the meat.
  3. Start to brown hamburger, add cabbage, onion, carrots, salt, and pepper to let cook while hamburger is browning. Once hamburger is cooked, drain excess fat off meat and vegetable mixture.
  4. I use a 7”x11” baking pan, but an 8”x8” baking pan would work too.
  5. Place meat and vegetable mixture in bottom of baking pan.
  6. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of meat mixture.
  7. Top with crescent rolls.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

A special note to all my Farm Friends who are taking this to feed the crew in the field, and require food that can be eaten while “on the go”.  When serving, turn the casserole upside down to eat.  The cresent roll will serve as a crust to hold the filling up.  My MessMaker especially likes to have his “cut as triangle” on the crescent roll lines, and eat “like a slice of pizza”. If you served it wrapped in foil, I think it would work to eat one handed.

This recipe is really easy to freeze up several batches so I can later make a quick meal.  I make the meat and vegetable mixture, and freeze.

Bierock Bake for Freezing

5 pounds ground beef

2 pounds cabbage, shredded ** I bought a 2 pound bag of shredded cabbage at Sam’s Club

3 onions, chopped

1 ½ pounds carrots, shredded

Salt

Pepper

  1. Chop and shred vegetables.
  2. Start to brown hamburger, add cabbage, onion, carrots, salt, and pepper to let cook while hamburger is browning. Once hamburger is cooked, drain excess fat off meat and vegetable mixture.  I do one mixture at a time.  While the first mixture is cooking, I finish shredding the onions and carrots for the next batch.
  3. Once the meat mixture is drained, move the meat and vegetable filling from the hot pan into a glass bowl to cool. Then start the next batch cooking.
  4. Once the filling is cooled off, put it into quart size freezer bags. Flatten out the bag and they will stack nicely in the freezer.

*** When you’re ready to use the frozen mixture for a meal.  Simply defrost the meat and vegetable mixture.  Spread out on the bottom of a 7”x11” or 8”x8” pan.  Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of meat mixture.  Top with crescent rolls.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. ****

Time commitment – If I’m going start a big project like this, I like to know what kind of time commitment I’m making.  If you were just making up 5 batches of the mixture, it would probably take about 1 ½ hours start to end of clean up.  Last night, I made one Bierock Bake for our supper.  Then I made 4 more meat and vegetable mixtures to put in the freezer for future use.  It took me 2-2 ½ hours from start to finishing clean up.  However, I was also making the rest of our supper, helping my MessMaker with his homework, and doing extra dishes ~ you know, all the normal craziness that goes on at home in the evening.

What other freezer meals do you like to make?

29 Cuts of Lean Beef in a Heart-Healthy Diet

I am really excited to have Amber Groeling as a guest blogger.  Amber is a Hy-Vee dietitian.  Recently, I had the opportunity to be a part of an evening at the Topeka Hy-Vee store where Chef Alli did a cooking class and Amber shared the nutritional value of all of the foods that were being prepared.  It was a really fun evening, and I’m excited to share with you some of the nutritional information that Amber shared with us.  Bonus:  There is a great recipe at the end, Skillet Steaks with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms, which would be a great Valentine’s dinner.

29 cuts lean beef

Lean Beef – Adding Flavor to Heart Health

Have you been told you have high cholesterol? Instead of hearing “No red meat!”, you’ll now hear Hy-Vee dietitians encouraging the consumption of lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet. The BOLD (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) study compared the consumption of 4 ounces of lean beef daily to the gold standard of heart-healthy eating, the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Both diets contained a similar mix of nutrients, including fewer than 7% of calories from saturated fat, but the BOLD diet contained 4 ounces of lean beef each day while the DASH diet limited red meat. At the end of the study, BOTH diets lowered LDL “bad” cholesterol in participants by 10%, providing evidence that beef may not be as bad for cholesterol and heart health as once thought. Advancements in science may also change the way consumers view beef.

  • Cattle producers are actually raising beef that is leaner than it was fifty years ago. A sirloin steak now has 34% less total fat, compared to a sirloin steak in 1963.
  • We also know that over half the fat in beef is actually monounsaturated fat, the same type of heart-healthy fat found in olive oil.
  • There are more than 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for “lean,” including T-bone, tenderloin, top sirloin and 95%-lean ground beef. Look for the words “loin” and “round” in the name to help identify lean beef cuts.  Or visit http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/leanbeef.aspx for a complete listing of lean cuts.

Use the plate method to help incorporate lean beef in a heart-healthy way. Balance your plate with one-fourth lean meat or protein, one-fourth whole grains or starchy veggies like potatoes, corn and peas, and one-half non-starchy veggies or fruit. For example, serve top sirloin steak with steamed green beans, roasted cauliflower, and a whole-grain roll for a tasty meal.

 3 Easy Steps to Pan-Broil – Top Sirloin Steak

  • Stovetop skillet cooking is ideal for cooking a tender, juicy top sirloin steak during the winter months.
    • Step 1: Heat heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes.
    • Step 2: Remove steak from refrigerator and season as desired, such as with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Place steak in preheated skillet, don’t add water or oil and leave uncovered.
    • Step 3: Pan-broil top sirloin steak 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare (145˚) to medium (160˚) doneness, turning occasionally.

Dietitian Recipe of Month…

 Skillet Steaks with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms

 Serves 4. Total Recipe Time: 25 to 30 minutes

 All you need:

2 teaspoons olive oil

3 cups assorted wild mushrooms (such as cremini, oyster, shiitake, enoki and morel)*

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 to 1-1/4 pounds beef top sirloin cap steaks, cut 1-inch thick

Kosher salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add mushrooms and 1 clove minced garlic; cook and stir 2 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Remove; keep warm.
  2. Combine thyme and remaining garlic; press evenly onto beef steaks. Place steaks in same skillet over medium heat; cook 8 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter.
  3. Carve steaks into slices. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Top with mushrooms.

 *Cook’s Tip: Three cups sliced button mushrooms can be substituted for assorted wild mushrooms.

Nutrition information per serving: 195 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 71 mg cholesterol; 8 mg sodium; 4 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fiber; 26 g protein; 9.2 mg niacin; 0.5 mg vitamin B6; 2.3 mcg vitamin B12; 4.3 mg iron; 31.5 mcg selenium; 5.4 mg zinc; 18.5 mg choline. This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc