Beef and cabbage and probably a beer.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

The holiday wouldn’t be complete without a little Beef and Cabbage. . . though, not Corned Beef because I just can’t bring myself to eat it. And interestingly enough, it’s not really an Irish tradition.  So, I rolled up my sleeves and spent the afternoon making hand pies instead.

This is actually a German recipe called Bierocks.  However, just about every culture seems to want to claim beef and cabbage! Since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, we won’t tell anyone and just go with it!

I’ve had the recipe since I was a teenager, but it’s been years since I’ve made it. These were a staple in the early years of our marriage: being one of the few foods I walked down the aisle knowing how to make. There’s a bit of nostalgia involved — which is probably why IZ was so willing to pass on tradition this year! Clearly, I’m not that Irish—and trust me, if you read the foot notes this will seem the least of my transgressions.

These tasty pies are a time commitment, but well worth the effort. The recipe makes 24 pies and you can easily freeze the left-overs for later! Make sure you have some yummy mustard for dipping, and yes, they are amazing with a “pint”.

Beef and Cabbage Hand Pies: Bierocks


1/2 oz Active Dry Yeast

2 Cups of Warm Water

1/2 Cup Sugar

4 TB Softened Butter

1 Egg

7 Cups of Flour


1 -1.25 lbs of Ground Meat*

1 Cup Diced Onion

1 Head (about 6 cups) of Shredded Cabbage

Salt to taste**

Make Dough: Mix yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let proof for 10 minutes. Then mix in sugar, egg, butter and half the flour. Add the remaining flour until the mix comes together. It’s a super sticky dough, don’t let that scare you or tempt you to use more flour!

Place in a well greased bowl and set aside to rise for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Make Filling: Brown meat in a large saute pan. Once browned add onions and cook for about 3 minutes. In a large stock pot, add the cabbage and then pour the meat mix on top of the cabbage. Mix around a bit and simmer for 30 minutes. You’ll need to stir this once in awhile, but not too often because you want the mix to begin to caramelize a bit on the bottom of the pan. Once cooked, turn off heat and let cool while you prep your dough.

Line 3 baking sheets with foil and grease well. Then cut your dough into 24 even portions. I use a pastry cutter. The dough is quite sticky, so you may need to flour your hands just a bit. I line a cutting board with a bit of plastic wrap and sprinkle flour as a “prep” space for assembling the pies. Once your filling has cooled enough, pat out a piece of the dough into a rough rectangle. Before you start filling, make sure you mix the filling well, scraping up the bits of caramelized filling on the bottom of the pot. Fill with 2 TB of filling, fold over and press shut. They don’t need to be pretty! But work fast, the filling is a bit wet and you’ll want to get your pie closed quickly to make them “stick”. Place on the baking sheet. Repeat until you fill one baking sheet and get it started in the oven. Bake each sheet 25 minutes. You can finish making the rest of the pies while the first tray is baking.

Once your pies are baked, brush with just a bit of melted butter. I use 1 TB of butter to coat all 24 pies.

And here’s where I confess my transgressions: * I totally didn’t use beef tonight. I know… but I had ground turkey on hand. I offered to go get beef for IZ and he was all, “Oh, don’t bother. Just use the Turkey and throw in a packet of the Top Ramen Beef Seasoning**” I’m going to let that sink in a bit.

So, which question should I answer first? If it works? Or why in the heck would you have spare Top Ramen seasoning packets?

We have spare packets because IZ is a hoarder. (Yes you are!) He doesn’t like Top Ramen at full strength, so he typically uses one seasoning packet for two packages of noodles. And he throws NOTHING away. . . I don’t know what to tell you. He lives by the “waste not want not” motto.

As for working? Um, yeah. Really well. So well, I won’t eat burgers out anymore! It’s totally bachelor cuisine, I’ll admit. But, I swear to you, his burgers are the best I’ve ever had and if I didn’t know I was eating turkey, I wouldn’t KNOW I was eating turkey.

I dont’ know if the man is crazy or a genius, but I’ll give him inventive. And that’s utterly Irish!