March Slice of Life No. 7.
Tonight we had beer-ox!
Some people call them bierocks, pronounced /brocks/.
Some people call them piroshki.
My grandkids call them meat pockets.
I have a favorite memory. Really it is an accumulative memory of balmy afternoons that included beer-ox.
It’s a warm, sunny Hawaiian afternoon with gentle, tropical breezes. We can see Diamond Head on the far horizon. The calm blue-green water of Mamala Bay stretches in front of us. We watch the white sail of a sunfish (sailboat) skimming against a very blue sky, navigated by our husbands — submarine sailors. Toddler-made Tonka truck sounds drift to us from the sand. We recline on beach lounge chairs and indulge in lazy chit-chat. Nearby is a small chest of iced beverages and a basket of beer-ox.
There you have it! That is my memory when I close my eyes and take a bite of beer-ox.
* * * *
Here is my recipe for beer-ox, a quick and easy version (for recipes with pictures, see links below).
I set my yeast rolls out to rise. No, I do not begin with flour, eggs, etc. I start with Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. I put a pat of butter in my hand so the warmth of my hand will soften it and then rub each frozen roll generously. After a dozen rolls, my hands are frozen.
I put the buttered rolls … oh, buttering the rolls keeps the dough from drying out as it thaws and begins to rise . . . anyway, I put the buttered rolls on waxed paper in a pan with tall sides with plastic wrap stretched over it. I put the pan in the oven and switch on the oven light. I give them a couple hours to thaw (exact directions are on the roll package) and rise, free of drafts and with the slight warmth of the oven light.
I make a filling: ground beef (sometimes mixed with sausage) browned and drained and then shredded cabbage steamed with it. I add some salt and pepper. Most people also add diced onions to saute with the cabbage, but I leave them out because my husband has onion allergies.
Once the rolls have risen and the filling is ready, I flatten a thawed beginning-to-rise roll, stretching it as much as I can. Holding the flattened dough in my left palm, I spoon some meat-cabbage mixture, as much as it will hold, into the center of it. Then I gently pull on the dough to wrap it around the meat mixture so I can pinch it together, sealing the roll. You want to get a good seal because if you don’t, the beer-ox will burst open and your filling falls out.
I place the filled rolls seam-side down on a cookie sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. I allow a bit of time for some more dough rising. If I remember, I brush some milk or egg on the rolls. I put them to bake, usually at 350 or 375, for 15 to 20 minutes.
We eat them plain or with ketchup or mustard–spicy is better.
Beer-ox are great for lunches, picnics, game days, … really any time.
Want a recipe with measurements and explicit directions?
With how-to pictures?
Go HERE for German bierocks.
Or HERE for Russian piroshki.
(The difference is in the bread and the fillings.)
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The connection of food to certain memories rings so true to me. You capture the sensory details of afternoons on the beach in Hawaii, anticipating the icy drinks and beer-ox. You also describe the recipe in a way that makes me want to try them – love the description of the yeast rolls that you don’t make from scratch:))
Hahaha! I read your post initially because I saw ‘beer-ox’ and thought you meant beer-hugs and kisses. That would have been a good post but your actual post was even better!!! Thanks for the beautifully written sensory driven memory and the recipe! And I think your beer-ox would pair wonderfully with beer-hugs and kisses!
Hahahah! That is hilarious… but I can see how you thought that. OX to you today. 🙂
Yum! I learned how to make Russian piroshki from my mother-in-law. A litle labor intensive, but I may make them for my husband one of these days soon. Bet he’d appreciate it! But I may try your recipe instead!
That’s so interesting! When I was able to eliminate the bread making part with Rhodes, I made them more often.
These are new to me. Sounds like something good to take to a gathering. Thanks for sharing.
When the kids were still home and we’d go for a one-day road trip, I’d make up a batch to take along. Sure beat quick order.
Yum! I probably should have waited to read this today, now I am hungry:)
🙂 So glad you came by!
Such a sensory-rich post. Along with seeing and hearing your day at the beach, I could feel the breeze. And the smell and taste of those beer-ox treats (beer-oxen?) is very real to me right now!
I’ve heard the “beer-ox” is a distortion of “bierocks” /brocks/.
Yum! Spring break (well, “March” break – it’s not quite Spring here yet) is coming up next week; maybe I will try these. I bet my kids would love them. Also, I LOVE the name beer-ox and especially how it morphed from the German.
The name always makes a good conversation starter. I hope you and your boys like them!
You just inspired my post tomorrow. I am a foodie and a writer. I actually write food reviews but bites of food can transport me to moments. Yay! Thank you for the inspiration.
Oh. That would be fun to do! Please share your website or magazine that you write for. I like to read cookbooks… as if they were literature. I can’t get rid of any of mine, not because I cook out of them but because I read them. 🙂
Oh I think my boys would love this one! That butter tip makes so much sense.
My daughter’s kids like them without the cabbage… just ground beef and sausage. And they do pack well for lunch, especially if you drained the meat well.
A vivid memory with a yummy recipe to boot–a win-win, in my books! Those moments on the beach sound heavenly–good friends, good food, beautiful views.
We enjoyed so many afternoons at that beach when they guys were in from patrols. Kind of offset the times they were gone.
Does beer go well with beer-ox? (never heard that term before)
The Germans like it together.
Wow! This sounds like a labor of love. Right now my mouth is watering even tho I’m supposed to be going to bed! Yummy.