Kansas hounds: Bierocks?
I've only seen them once on a menu in Kansas City. It was a daily lunch special at You Say Tomato. I had fun chatting up the owner about their origin as I suspected he must have grown up in a German community in western Kansas to know of them. I can't give you specifics, but most small, rural towns with a German or Mennonite heritage will know what you are talking about. I don't know if you can find them in a restaurant, but try local delis or bakeries. Also keep your eye out for any German heritage festivals. I get my fix once a year in Darrouzett, Texas -- just south of western Kansas. My mom can get them throughout the year from someone in the community.
Also, Cooking Light ran a recipe for bierocks a few years back. Let me do a little research... January 2004. There was a feature article about the people, the food, the culture, etc.
Good luck! I'd love to know if you find some.
I believe Friendship House in Wamego has them also. Not sure if they have them every day or not. We pick them up sometimes on the way to KSU football games. They are a block east of the main street that runs through town, across from the big park with the windmill.
Also, if you are close to Topeka, my church has an annual Germanfest the first weekend of June and we definitely have bierocks there. You might try your local Dillons store as well...I have seen them there from time to time.
I ate a bierock at The Breadbasket in Newton, KS, several years ago, but am not sure they are still in business. They are still listed on the Newton Chamber of Commerce web site (http://www.thenewtonchamber.org/compo...), but their old web site now seems to be a search site for baskets.
Bierocks seem to be progenitors of the runza.
Newton is more than a small town (2000 population 17,190) but certainly is a Mennonite center.
219 North Main Street
Newton, KS 67114
Phone: (316) 283-3811
Fax: (316) 283-3650
Here's a place in St. Francis who sells and ships them. http://beckysbierocks.com/ I've also heard there's a Runza restaurant in Lawrence on Iowa, near 27th, I think, but I've never been. I don't know if they'd have the variation you're looking for, but kind of doubt it. You might give them a call, though. Another idea would be to call the German meat market on Johnson Drive and ask if they know of someone who makes and sells them locally.
The Breadbasket is still open (I drove by this morning and there's an open sign in the window). I would recommend their German buffet with all the Mennonite classics. Also another place that you can find bierocks in Newton is Druber's the local Daylight donuts place, they have them during lunch or frozen to take with you.
We ate the evening German buffet at The Breadbasket on Saturday, June 2. We had only been there for lunch before. What a find! My wife, who doesn't particularly care for sauerkraut, said this was the best she had ever eaten - and her family background is Mennonite. There were too many delicious choices to get to indulge myself as totally as I would have liked. I left absolutely stuffed. The sausages, the kraut, the German potato salad, the cherry mousse dessert, the homemade bread were all wonderful. The buffet is served Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday mid-day only. It is worth going a few miles out of your way for this food. We drove over an hour from Abilene - and will likely do it again on our next trip.
I just saw notice in the DeSoto Explorer that bierocks will be among the festival food at DeSoto Days next weekend. They apparently sold out last year, so you might want to come early if you're hoping for a bierock. It's the 150 year anniversary of the little town, so I'd expect good attendance.
I lived in Hays as a kid and go back frequently to visit family.
I would recommend Gella's (http://www.lbbrewing.com/) in downtown Hays. It is half restaurant/half brewery. All the food I have had has been great - a lot of the food is variations of the regional german food. The beer is fantastic. If you go, order the grebble to start - it is essentially fried bread - so simple but so good.
Go to a restaurant called Made From Scratch in Wilson, KS--incidentally the "Czech Capital" of Kansas! Annual Czech Festival is July 24-25 in Wilson-annual Czech parade is Saturday morning.
Czech Festival 2009
DOWNTOWN ALS BAR & GRILL (No. 4 on map) Stop by Historic Wooden Water Tower next to Simple Haven B & B Grill open (No. 25 on map)
10 am – 9 pm Fri & Sat
Historic Main Street
MADE FROM SCRATCH RESTAURANT (No. 28 on map)
Open at 7:00 am – Have the Best Homemade Food Downstairs at the Opera House (No. 12 on map) will be Czech cookbooks,
Bierock, Kolaches, Kase Noodles, Pies, Ice Cream, art work, and kolaches for sale and arts & crafts upstairs.
Hamburgers and Lots More
Stop at the Arts & Crafts Show in the Lions Club Park (No. 5 on map)
SINCERELY YOURS (No. 23 on map) and view the handmade items.
Kolaches, Cinnamon Rolls, Hoska
Visit the Wilson Czech Opera Museum (No. 12 on map)
STOP 2 SHOP (No. 9 on map) Open 1 to 6 pm Friday and 11 am to 6 pm Saturday
Eat In or Carry Out – Hot Deli, Pizza, & Specialty Chicken
Order Just What You Want Old City Round Jail – behind Senior Center (No. 18 on map)
THE SNACK SHACK (No. 13 on map) NEW Playground and Spray Park (No. 16 on map)
Burgers, Shakes and everything in between
P CAT Thrift Store (No. 10 on map)
… Serving Saturday Only …
Visit the Chamber of Commerce office for
ST. WENCESLAUS PARISH (No. 29 on map) Souvenirs of Wilson (No. 1 on map)
Czech Style Buffet – Saturday Noon Only
Official Beer Garden 25th & Ave D (No. 20 on map)
KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS (No. 29 on map) Sponsored by Wilson Chamber of Commerce
5 to 7 pm – Fried Chicken Buffet at the Parish Hall Open Fri 5:00 – 6:30 pm and 8:00 – 10:00 pm
Sat after the parade – 5:00 pm
SENIOR CENTER (No. 19 on map)
Saturday only KRSL Russell Radio is the Official Czech Festival Radio Station
6 to 9 am – Breakfast Buffet
WILSON CZECH OPERA HOUSE (No. 12 on map)
Czech Meal- Saturday 11:00 am (Served Downstairs)
Visit the Museum – Proceeds Benefit Opera House
AMERICAN LEGION HALL POST #262 (No. 11 on map)
Saturday – 11:00 am to ?? BBQ Rib Dinner, Hot Dogs
1:00 – 3:00 pm – Live Music by Bob Boatright
Czech for Activities throughout the Festival in the Park!
FRIDAY July 24, 2009
2:30 pm-----ANNUAL STATE MEETING, KANSAS CZECHS, INC Bob Malir Opera House
Organized by interested Czechs in 1967 for the purpose of perpetuating Czech Culture in food, music, art and language.
4:00 – 8:00 pm - ARTS & CRAFTS Lions Club Park
5:00 – 10:00 pm – MOONWALKS FOR FUN Ave D
Sponsored by Deep Creek Construction LLC, Klassy Kuts, Sincerely Yours, & Wilson Family Foods
5:00 – 10:00 pm – BARREL RIDES FOR KIDS Sponsored by Wilson PRIDE Ave D
5:00 – 6:30 pm - DAVE SALMONS BAND OFFICIAL BEER GARDEN 25th and Ave D
Sponsored by Foster Mortuary, Klassy Kuts, & Wilson Communications
5:00 - 11:00 pm - OFFICIAL BEER GARDEN Ave D
6:00 - 6:55 pm – KRSL RUSSELL RADIO POLKA PARTY with Carol McKenna Lions Club Park
6:30 - 9:30 pm - SUMMER SLAM 3 ON 3 BASKETBALL Coordinated by Mike Spears & Dave Stoppel WHS Practice Gym
6:30 pm - FLAG RAISING CEREMONY by American Legion Post #262 Lions Club Park
7:00 - 8:00 pm – BAND / MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT Lions Club Park
7:00 pm – ICE CREAM SOCIAL Homemade Ice Cream and Cakes Lions Club Park
Coordinators Wilson Lions Club, American Family Insurance & DeAnne Hoch
8:00 pm - CZECH DANCERS Sound by KRSL..… Coordinated by Shawn Hellebust & Melanie Passmore Lions Club Park
8:00 - 10:00 pm - DAVE SALMONS OFFICIAL BEER GARDEN 25th & Ave D
Sponsored by Foster Mortuary, Klassy Kuts, & Wilson Communications
9:00 pm -12:00 am - KARAOKE Downtown Als
SATURDAY July 25, 2009
All Day- MENS SOFTBALL POOL PLAY Coordinators – Joe & Corie Soukup and Travis Weinhold Jellison Park
8:00 am - CZECH RUN OR WALK (begin at City Hall) Coordinated by Tony Brokes 24th and Ave E
Sponsored by Golden Living Center- Wilson & Aegis Therapy (affliated with Golden Living Center- Wilson)
8:00 am - 5:00 pm - ARTS & CRAFT SHOW Lions Club Park
8:00 am - FLEA MARKET This event will continue throughout afternoon corner 27th and Ave D
8:30 - 9:30 am - LEGISLATIVE COFFEE & KOLACHES (FREE) Kolaches by Made From Scratch Senior Center
9:00 am - _______________________ In front of City Hall – Main Street
9:00 am - CZECH DANCERS Coordinated Melanie Passmore & Shawn Hellebust In front of bank parking lot- Main Street
9:15 am - TWIRLERS AND DANCERS Coordinated Melanie Passmore & Shawn Hellebust In front of bank parking lot- Main Street
10:00 am - PARADE – Theme “Watch Us Shine In 2009” Grand Marshal Bill & Joyce Podlena Ave E- Main Street
One of the Largest Small Town Parades in Kansas---Directors Jane Galliart & Jennifer Schoenhofer
Sponsored by Stop 2 Shop, Simple Haven B & B, Wilson Communications, Dr Dennis & Jennifer Kepka
FOLLOWING PARADE – 5:00 pm - DAVE SALMONS BAND Various sponsors Official Beer Garden 25th & Ave D
10:00 am – Mid-Day – DINNER Served in various locations around town (see opposite page)
11:00 am - 1:00 pm - COUNTRY STORE Sponsored by Altar Society Catholic Parish Hall
11:30 am - 4:30 pm - ARTS & CRAFTS INSIDE Opera House
11:30 am - 5:00 pm - PETTING ZOO Richard Wolfe, Russell KS Legion Park
11:30 am - 1:00 pm - STAMP CANCELLATION Designed by Eleanor Hunter & Gordon Mai / Coordinated by Joanne Borell Senior Center
12:00 - 1:00 pm - TURTLE RACES Bring your own turtle Coordinated by Sincerely Yours In front of Sincerely Yours- Main Street
12:00 - 5:00 pm - LEMONADE STAND & WATER GAMES Coordinated by Yoked Parish Youth Presbyterian Church
12:00 - 6:00 pm - MOONWALKS FOR FUN Sponsored by KC Enterprises Inc., Wilson State Bank & Foster Mortuary Ave D
12:00 - 5:00 pm - BARREL RIDES FOR KIDS Sponsored by Wilson PRIDE Ave D
12.00 - 3:00 pm - ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC TRACTOR SHOW Coordinated by Jim Patry & Gary Kraus North of Longfellow Corners
12:30 - 2:00 pm - CZECH EGG PAINTING DEMONSTRATION Christine Slechta Opera House
1:00 pm - ??? - CO-ED SAND VOLLEY BALL TOURNAMENT Coordinated by Rosemary Dietz Jellison Park
1:00 pm - ??? – SMOKY HILL MUD RUN- CMBA Coordinated & Sponsored by Napanee Powell & Shelly Whitmer 2 miles West of Wilson on Hwy 40
1:00 - 3:00 pm - LIVE MUSIC BY BOB BOATRIGHT American Legion Hall
1:00 - 3:00 pm - ARTS & CRAFTS Demonstrations Kansas Originals Market
1:00 pm - TRACTOR PULL (PEDAL PULL) FOR CHILDREN North of Longfellow Corners
Sponsored by AGCO Inc- Russell, Dorrance & Susank, Carrico Implement, KanEquip Inc, Reliant Roofing LLC, & World Pest
1:30 pm - 2009 WILSON OLYMPICS Coordinated by Russ Koeningsman, Travis & Tonya Weinhold North of Longfellow Corners
2:00 pm - BINGO Knights of Columbus Catholic Parish Center
2:00 pm - WATERMELON EATING CONTEST Coordinated by ______________________ Beer Garden 25th & Ave D
3:00 pm - CZECH QUEEN PAGENT Coordinated by Lynn Kasper Opera House
3:00 – 6:00 pm – RECKLESS REBELLION UNPLUGGED BAND Downtown Als
4:00 pm - OPEN HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT Sponsored by Alan Reeves and Dr. Dennis & Jennifer Kepka Jellison Park
4:00 pm - POLKA MASS Dave Salmons Band St. Wenceslaus Church
5:00 - 7:00 pm - CHICKEN DINNER Knights of Columbus Catholic Parish Hall
6:00 - 9:00 pm - SHAWN COLE BAND Downtown Als
7:00 pm – WATCH ‘EM SHINE HOME TALENT SHOW Coordinated by Wilson State Bank employees Lions Club Park
Sound by Florian Audio-Visual ………… Sponsored by Wilson Communications
8:00 - 12:00 pm - FREELANCE BAND Sponsored by Reliant Roofing LLC & the Wilson Chamber of Commerce Opera House
8:30 - 11:30 pm - TEEN DANCE Stop 2 Shop Parking Lot
8:30 - 11:30 pm - DANCE WITH DAVE SALMONS BAND Sponsored by Wilson Chamber of Commerce Catholic Parish Hall
9:00 pm -1:30 am - RUSSELL LEE LOVENSTEIN & REVELRY BAND Downtown Als
10:45 pm - RAFFLE DRAWING- Need not be present to win Catholic Parish Hall
Prizes- Beef Bundle (provided by Wilson Family Foods),
Chamber bucks, and a Flat Screen HDTV -- Call the Chamber office for tickets anytime before the festival
Lots of good food there-including homemade Beirocks and Kolaches!!!
My grandparents were German, but came to the US in 1913 from Russia. They settled in Lehigh, Kansas, a town of Menonites, although they were Luthern. Here is my Grandma's recipe for Bierocks:
2 lbs. hamburger
1 c. onion, chopped
4 c. cabbage, chopped
2 tsp. garlic salt
For the bread, use frozen dinner rolls that you allow to rise. I use Rhodes brand. After you cook the hambuger for a few minutes, add the cabbage and onion and continue to cook until the onions are clear. Then after the rolls have risen, roll them out, put a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center, pinch them together and bake at 375 for about 22 minutes or until they are golden. I brush mine with butter when they first come out of the oven, then cover with a damp t-towel.
I was surprised to see a discussion of these pop up. I have a similar story--great grandparents traveled with their family from Russia in 1906 and ended up in Kansas.
I'm sure there are all kinds of variations in recipes, the type I make is heavier on the onions, cabbage. One hint if anybody wants to make these (and you should) is to make sure the seams are down against the cookie sheet (lots less leakage as they cook).
I grew up eating bierocks in my school cafeteria in central Kansas. I loved them then and I love them now. I just made them for the first time for my kids tonght and I think they have found true love too. Now I will make them for my family and friends here in Misawa, Japan. Its fun to spread an old community tradition around the world.
Odd to think that dumplings can only be fried or steamed... Europeans just made them bigger and more prone to baking, and that can be a good thing. I grew up in the Midwest and Bierocks were everywhere and usually a staple at most small town restaurants whose heredity was Eastern European. Love them when I can get them, but it seems a dying art.