Chef Jill’s Kansas City Bierocks aka Runzas recipe

Published: Feb. 5, 2021 at 10:42 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - “This hearty pocket or sandwich was brought to the Midwest by German immigrants.  Also called Runzas. This meat, cabbage and cheese pocket is the perfect handheld fare for the Super Bowl, especially for CHIEFS fans! I’m taking a shortcut by using prepared froze bread dough so I have more time to enjoy the game!” – Chef Jill Aker-Ray


For the filling:

  • 1 pound 85/15 ground beef
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 TSP better than beef bouillon base
  • 1 TSP Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 TSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TSP ground black pepper
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/4 TSP onion powder
  • 1/2 head small cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1/4 TSP brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese ( or other favorite- pepper jack, colby jack, havarti, Swiss) (about 1-1/2 TBSP per roll)
  • 16 frozen rolls dough (I used Rhodes), thawed overnight
  • 1 stick butter, melted


The night before, using muffin pans, spray frozen rolls with butter-flavored cooking spray and wrap each tightly with plastic wrap place into the fridge to thaw overnight.

In a large frying pan, sauté ground beef and onion until cooked through and tender breaking up into small pieces as you go. Do not drain. Add garlic, sauté one minute.

Add chicken broth mix with people on base, Worcestershire, vinegar, pepper, salt, and onion powder. Add shredded cabbage, tossed well to mix. Cook over medium-low heat, covered, stirring occasionally until cabbage is very tender (15-20 minutes) during the last five minutes, add brown sugar. Remove from heat and set aside. Ideally, this can be made ahead of time and held for a few days.

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside. Take Rowles out of the refrigerator and allowed to sit for about 10 minutes. On route one roll at a time and place one piece of dough onto wooden cutting board. Press out, starting from the center and working your way to the edge, just like making a pizza into a 4 1/2 to 5 inch circle.

Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of shredded cheese in the center, then top with a mound of about 1/3 cup of meat mixture. Bring up the sides a bit at a time, pulling up and over the top overlapping with each bit. Pinch to seal in place seem side down onto your prepared baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and continue with the rest of the rolls.

When all rolls are finished/filled, pop one or both pans into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool slightly on rack, then wrap in foil for easy serving during game time (place into warmer or 170/180 degree oven until serving). Nice when served with your favorite spicy brown mustard or delicious just as they are!

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