Once upon a time, a girl met a boy and they fell in love. She wanted to make him something special, so she asked what he missed the most that he remembered eating as a boy.
He thought for a moment and described it to her. It’s a bread stuffed with meat and cabbage.
She quizzed him and asked how exactly was it shaped and how it’s cooked. In her culture, there’s a lot of stuffed buns and breads (such as the steamed BBQ Pork Bun), so this type of food was very familiar to her.
He said it’s a square-shaped bun and inside, there’s ground chuck, onions and cabbage. It’s baked in the oven and comes out golden brown, smelling wonderful. He said that his Grandma Catherine, on his Dad’s side, used to make it for him and his brothers.
The girl thought to herself, “I can make those for him.” So, she did.
When she was making them, it wasn’t a very difficult process. It took some time to make the filling and the home made dough, but it was a worth the effort.
Soon, she presented those meat and cabbage buns to him and he was almost impressed. She watched him, as he inspected it before he took his first bite.
He told her that the buns were not the right shape, but the flavor was there. He suggested a little tweak here and there, then, they would be almost as good as Grandma Catherine’s.
So, back to the kitchen she went and made the little tweaks here and there. He tasted them and said, “I’m going to marry you someday.” And he did.
Aww, what a romantic story. She made buns for him and they got married. Kind of sappy, don’t you think?
Well, along with impressing him with hot stuffed buns (!), he most likely married her because she was also ~
- An awesome driver
- and a freakin’ good cook!
True story, gang!
This type of stuffed bun, aka Bierocks were something that was introduced to the Hungry Chilipinos by Cindy’s husband, Mel. It’s an old family favorite that his Grandma Catherine had brought from the “old country.”
Whenever she would make these, Mel and his brothers would just devour them in 2.2 seconds.
He always remembered how the smell of bread, seasoned beef, onions and cabbage baking in the oven would just make his mouth water in anticipation for that moment, when he could finally bite into a freshly baked Bierock.
He still feels the same excitement every time Cindy makes these delicious stuffed buns.
The taste and aromas evoke such a nostalgic feeling and it just brings him back to one of the happiest moments of his childhood.
Mel has actually become a very good Bierock maker, as well. If his Grandma Catherine was alive today, she would be pretty proud of her grandson!
Well, stuffed buns in itself, is something most people get pretty happy about. People love bread in general, but when you take bread up a notch and stuff it with all kinds of sweet of savory things, it’s all over! You’ve fallen hard!
All cultures have their delicious versions and all of it is good. Here is a small list of stuffed buns from around the world~
- Bacon Buns (Eastern Europe)
- Pirozhkis (Russia)
- Knishes (Eastern Europe)
- Calzones (Italy)
- Cha Siu Bao (China)
- Empanadas (Mexico)
- Curry Pan (Japan)
- Stuffed Parathas (India)
- Chebureki (Turky)
- Samosa (India)
- Murtabak (Saudi Arabia, Malaysia)
- Kati Roll (India)
- Kolacky (Czech)
- Paczki (Poland)
- Custard Donut (USA)
- Bor Lor Bao (China)
- Hotteok (Korea)
- Pastelito de Guayaba (Cuba)
- Strudels (Germany)
Maybe everything should be stuffed in a bun? Anything is possible!
- Create your filling (try left-over thanksgiving dinner!) and make some bread dough.
- Stuff it.
- Then, decide if you would like to bake, fry, panini or steam it.
- After that, take a bite and go mmm ~ see, you have just created your signature stuffed bun. Yum!
Anyway, when we make the Bierocks, we usually like to make our own dough because it tastes better. And we like to make a lot of Bierocks, so making a big batch of dough is a no-brainer.
There’s a lot of hungry Bierock lovers in our family, so we have to make a big batch!
If you don’t have time to make the dough from scratch, we recommend buying the 5-pack Rhodes frozen bread dough from your grocer’s freezer section. It’s a great substitute for making a quick batch of Bierocks.
Although making stuffed breads can take a lot of time, the finished product is so worth it. It’s also such a special treat to share these with family because of the TLC put into making these. Everyone loves eating home made stuff, especially yummy baked goods.
Give these a try! And if you have a love for stuffed buns as we do, share it down in the comments section. We always love to hear from you!
(By the way, Japanese Milk Bread is something we love to bake! It’s a fluffy, white bread that we use for Hong Kong Style French Toast. So good! Click here for the recipe.)
The Hungry Chilipinos
- 10 to 11 cups all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 package (1/4-ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2-1/2 cups water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup butter, cubed
- 2 eggs
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 2 pounds shredded cabbage, cooked and drained
- Step 1 For dough, in a large bowl, combine 4 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- Step 2 In a saucepan, heat water, milk and butter just until butter melts. Remove from heat and cool to 120°-130°. Combine with flour mixture. Add eggs.
- Step 3 Using an electric mixer, blend at low speed until moistened then beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Step 4 By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough.
- Step 5 Knead on a floured surface about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Let rise again until almost doubled.
- Step 6 Meanwhile, for the filling, brown beef with onion, salt and pepper. Drain. Mix together with cabbage. Set aside.
- Step 7 Divide the dough into fourths. Roll each piece into a 15×10-in. rectangle. Cut into 5-inch squares. Spoon 1/3 to 1/2 cup filling onto each square.
- Step 8 Bring the four corners up over the filling (see pics above for folding instructions). Pinch together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Place on greased baking sheets.
- Step 9 Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until brown.