In Nebraska, we have something no other state in the nation has – Runza®… and the Huskers. But, today’s topic is food, not football.
Runza® has a variety of delicious items on their menu, but “It all started in 1949 with the Original Runza® Sandwich. Homemade dough made from scratch everyday – stuffed full of ground beef, onions, cabbage, and secret spices – and then baked fresh and served hot.”
Making homemade Runza® substitute Cabbage Burgers started in our home in 2008. The process has evolved over the years. But today, I use my own homemade Best Buns Ever dough (because it’s easy) made from scratch just before I make my Cabbage Burgers – stuffed full with ground beef, onions, cabbage, and my not-so-secret blend of spices. If you wanted to make it even easier, you could totally use your favorite frozen bread dough, like Rhodes.
If you do not live in Nebraska, have never had the privilege of trying the Original Runza® Sandwich, or live two (plus) hours from the nearest Runza® like we do – I would encourage you to try this substitute. Because these Cabbage Burgers do a great job of satisfying the craving for the original. And they are also fairly easy to make in bulk and stash in the freezer for grab-and-go lunches and/or quick and easy suppers down the road.
Don’t forget the rules of food safety! Here is the short list:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling raw meat.
- Never thaw meat on the counter. Always, thaw meat in the refrigerator, microwave or cool water bath.
- Always wash cutting boards and plates after having been in contact with raw meat.
- Always cook to appropriate internal temperatures. Safe internal temperatures vary based on cut. Hamburger must reach a safe and savory 160o, while steak is safe at 140o.
- Bread dough, 2 loaves of your favorite frozen bread or 2 batches of the Best Buns Ever dough
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large head cabbage, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Shredded Colby jack cheese, or whatever flavor you prefer
- 1 egg
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
- If your bread dough needs to rise, let it do so in a warm area while your oven pre-heats and you prep the filling.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef, garlic, onions, rosemary, and thyme. Brown the ground beef mixture for about 10 minutes, or until the ground beef is no longer pink, breaking it up as you brown. Remove the browned ground beef from the skillet with a slotted spoon, place it in a bowl and set aside.
- Drain the grease and ground beef drippings and to the same hot skillet, add the olive oil and the cabbage. Cook, stirring frequently until the cabbage becomes soft and slightly translucent. Once cooked, add the cabbage to the ground beef mixture, season with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well.
- If it isn’t already, separate the bread dough into two equal parts. Flatten each section of dough. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to an approximate 16x13 inch rectangle, or as big as you can get it while maintaining about 1/4 inch of thickness. Cut each dough section into 8 equal(ish) squares.*
- Sprinkle a large pinch of cheese in the center of each dough square. Then, place 1/3 to 1/2 cup of ground beef filling over the cheese. Pull the edges of the dough together and fold over one another, pinching the dough to securely enclose the filling. Place the assembled cabbage burgers, folded side down, on greased baking sheets (we used our stoneware baking sheets).
- In a small bowl crack the egg, add a splash of water, and whisk together to make an egg wash. Just before placing the cabbage burgers in the oven brush, them with the egg wash. Put the cabbage burgers in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until nice and golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets.
- Once they are cool enough to handle, you can serve up your cabbage burgers with a side of fries and your favorite condiments.
- *You may end up with some that are shaped more like rectangles and others that are more triangle-ish. Don’t worry - just go with it. 😉