Growing up, I enjoyed really good kraut burgers now and then. I have an aunt—her name is Irene; she’s married to my dad’s older brother Vic—and her kraut burgers are to die for. In other parts of the country, the dough pockets filled with ground beef, chopped cabbage, and onion are called cabbage burgers or German burgers, runza®, or bierocks. “Kraut” was actually a derogatory word for a German that came into use in the United States after World War I, although it doesn’t generally carry the same negative connotations a hundred years later.
The filling for kraut burgers is easy to make. I have little time and less ability for dealing with the traditional yeast dough, so I’ve found a quick and simple shortcut that can turn this recipe into a reliable week night favorite or a lunchbox staple. Yes, kraut burgers are good cold, or to heat one in the microwave, just wrap it in a damp paper towel and zap it for about fifteen seconds.
1 pound ground beef
1 small yellow cooking onion, coarsely chopped
2 or 3 wedges raw cabbage, grated as thin as a dime
generous pinch of garlic salt
1 can of 8 Pilsbury Grand® refrigerator biscuits (jumbo size)
1. Brown the ground beef with the onion in a large skillet.
2. When the beef is done, drain off the grease And add garlic salt and enough chopped cabbage to roughly equal the amount of hamburger in the pan. For a pound, that’s about enough to fill an average sized cutting board.
3. Cook the cabbage down till it’s limp in the skillet, mixing well with the meat. Set the pan off the heat. At this point, if you cook more than a pound, you can freeze the cabbage and hamburger in meal-sized portions for later use. I’ve found, though, that it’s easier for me to cook only what I need for one meal because larger portions get hard to manage in the skillet.
4. Preheat the oven according to the directions on the can of Pilsbury Grand® biscuits. Flatten each biscuit into a four-inch circle. Turn the biscuit as you gently press it flat with your hands so the dough is even all the way across, without thin spots that will burn or allow the meat juices to seep through during baking.
5. Place a few tablespoons of the meat and cabbage mixture on each flattened biscuit. Fold the dough over to make a half circle. Do not overfill. Seal the edges to form a pocket around the meat and cabbage.
6. Bake about ten minutes, or till the biscuit dough is golden brown. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator, wrapped in aluminum foil or in a Ziploc bag. Enjoy!
About the Author
Jo Elizabeth Pinto was among the first blind students to integrate the public schools in the 1970’s. In 1992, she received a degree in Human Services from the University of Northern Colorado. While teaching students how to use adaptive technology, she earned a second degree in 2004 from the Metropolitan State College of Denver in Nonprofit Management. She freelances as an editor and a braille proofreader and is a contributor of The Writer’s Grapevine Magazine where more articles like this may be found.
As an author, Pinto entertains her readers while giving them food for thought. In her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, she draws on personal experience to illustrate that hope is always an action away.
Pinto lives in Colorado with her husband, her teenage daughter, her guide dog Spreckles, and an aging family cat named Sam-I-Am.
Her website is: http://www.brightsideauthor.com.