Daughter Eilene invited her friends over for the first time in a long while—it is finally warm enough that they can meet in the garage space they have set up without endangering my wife and me. I had made Volga German bierocks a few days ago and Eilene asked me to make some bierocks for her friends. Not to do the same dish twice in a row, I decided to mix things up.
Tag Archives: bierock
Eilene’s friends are coming over again—one has just returned from visiting family in the Philippines. The last two times I have made dinner for them it has been pasta—a tomato based sauce and an Alfredo sauce. I wanted to do something different and I have not made bierocks in quite a while, Eilene liked the idea.
I love stuffed breads, whether you call them a samsa, a pasty, a samosa, or a bierock. While making them can be a lot of work—you are first making some kind of stew, letting it cool, making the dough, and then filling the dough with the stew, before baking them all together—the payoff is well worth the added labor. Packet breads are a convenient, grab-and-go meal for lunches and I usually get two, or even three, meals for the three people out of one recipe.
Readers of my blog may be beginning to feel that I am in a rut with so many bierock recipes, but these pocket breads are really good and open to a wide variety of fillings. Wife Jan did not like boring German bierocks—beef, onion, and cabbage in a raised bread wrapper. When she found Volga German bierocks she changed she mind—seasonings are good. She then asked that I make Uyghar bierocks—while she like there she would have preferred that I had used chicken rather than lamb. This morning she asked for chicken curry bierocks.
The first time I made bierock—German pocket breads—I made it the way it would be done in Germany, with a minimal ingredients list—mostly beef, onions, and cabbage. Wife Jan was unimpressed. She found a Volga German recipe with a fair amount of spices added—these she liked much better. Jan then had a fancy—What if a Volga German traveled east on the Silk Road to Kashgar. What kind of bierock would he make then?
A bierock is not now, nor has it ever been haute cuisine, it is essentially a workingman’s lunch. When you are working, traveling, or having some kind of festival event, you do not always have time to sit down for meal. Having a meal in a neat, sealed package that you can slip into a pocket or pouch is a solution that many cultures have discovered.
Bierock are Volga German stuffed breads. The Volga Germans were brought into Russia by Catharine the Great for their “modern” technical skills. However, their cooking was not one of those skills. Many would consider both German and Russian traditional cuisines a wasteland—there is only so much you can do with cabbage, flour, potatoes and a little beef when you do not have access to, or can afford, fancy spices.