Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Home Made Runza's

Here in the Midwest we enjoy a wonderful little fast food restaurant called Runza.  I love their hamburgers and fries.  My husband loves the namesake... Runza's!  Last time we were enjoying our yummy treats from Runza, my husband mentioned that we should try to make the Runza's from scratch.  Which really meant, I should find a recipe so he can have them more often!  Oh well, the things a girl does for her family.  I searched the web and I found a recipe at Christephi's Sprouting Flowers. I changed it up a little but I tried to follow the original recipe pretty closely.

In looking for a recipe I found out that this dish originated in Russia and then spread to Germany before coming to the United States in the 1800's the dish was called bierock, fleischkuche or kraut pirok.  Enough of the history lesson now onto the recipe!

Filling Ingredients
8 stalks chopped green onions
4 shredded garlic cloves
2 lbs ground beef
12 medium sliced mushrooms
1 head of cabbage chopped
2 small pouches of sauerkraut with juice (I found them at Hy-Vee in the dairy case but a small can of sauerkraut would work as well)
choice of seasoning for the hamburger
cheese of your choice (I used Swiss singles cut in half)

Dough Ingredients
1/2 cup shortening
1 pkg quick rise yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 TBL salt
2 beaten eggs
7 cups of flour


Cook the hamburger with the green onions, garlic and seasoning (to shred the garlic I used a micro plane). Once it is done I drain the meat mixture.  I put a bowl under the colander and let the meat sit while I prepared the rest of the ingredients for the crock pot (a friend of mine told me to make sure I drained everything really well because if you don't the dough doesn't cook well and it is all a big mess).  I then chopped the cabbage, I cut mine with a lettuce knife in long thin strips.  I put them in the crock pot.  Then I cleaned the mushrooms with a wet paper towel (I've heard that if you run them under water it makes them rubbery). I sliced them a little thicker than I would have for a salad just because I knew they would cook down a whole bunch.  I opened the two small pouches of sauerkraut and put that in the crock pot with everything else.  Including the juice.  I know I just got done saying to make sure it is well drained but in this case... put the juice in, it provides flavor for all of that cabbage that you just put in the crock pot.  Then add the meat mixture and mix it all up.  Put the lid on and set the crock pot on warm. 

NOTE: The reason I put it on warm is that I let it sit that way all night long.  I cannot tell you what would happen if you put it on low or high because there is very little liquid in the crock pot at this point.  My guess is that it would scorch or burn the cabbage.

3 HOURS BEFORE DINNER (I say 3 hours because it takes a bit to get this all done and then it has to sit, once that is done it takes time and patience to roll out and put together each little yummy bun of goodness)
Combine the shortening, quick rise yeast, warm water and warm milk in a bowl.  Let it sit.  I just used a large measuring cup put the milk and water in it, heated it in the microwave and then added the yeast and shortening.  Set it aside.  I used a stand mixer with dough hooks for the next part.  Mix together the sugar, salt and eggs.  Then slowly incorporate the yeast mixture.  I added flour 2 cups at a time, stirring well after each addition.  If the dough becomes too stiff to stir, you can finish incorporating the flour by hand however, with dough hooks and a stand mixer I didn't have this problem.  The dough should end up being smooth and elastic.  Let the dough rest covered in a bowl for 1 hour.  The original directions said that the dough should double in size however, mine didn't but I moved forward without any issues.

I should have taken more pictures while I was making them but I didn't so here goes the instructions for making these...

Now is a good time to pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F.  I drained the crock pot mixture, I pulled out the Swiss cheese and cut them in half. Then I just started making balls of dough, I made mine a little bigger than a golf ball.  If you have a pastry mat I would highly recommend using that but since I am pretty sure mine is still packed from moving I had to use wax paper, which worked fine (a little sticky though but it worked). 

Roll out your dough ball, place a slice of cheese and a scoop of filling, then you just pinch of the sides and then I folded over the end pieces and placed them on a greased cookie sheet. Put them in the oven and bake them for 30 minutes.  Now I did check mine at 20 minutes and decided that it needed the full 30 minutes.  They were quite yummy and the husband is already thinking of ways to make them even better next time, I on the other hand am thinking about different fillings!