Monday, September 1

Runza Recipe - Pocket Sandwich Comfort Food

We all love a little comfort food, especially on a chilly night! Fall is right around the corner and this is one of my very favorite recipes when we're tucked in for a cozy evening.

I had never tasted anything like this until Baby Brother was born and a sweet friend brought us a whole pile of runzas. As soon as we tasted them we were hooked and I've made them countless times since then.

What's a runza, you ask? I had no idea either, but it turns out they are pocket sandwiches stuffed with meat, cabbage, spices, and cheesy goodness. When she told me I thought "Oh. Cabbage. I don't think I like cabbage..." But I can tell you now, I totally do! At least when it's all wrapped up in a soft and savory bun.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it makes 24 pocket sandwiches, which lasts our family of four several meals! We usually put any leftover in the freezer and pull them out for quick lunches. Although last time we ate them all too fast. Oops.

1 T yeast
2 c. warm water
1/2 c. sugar (or I sometimes use honey)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. flour
2 eggs
3 T olive oil
5 c. additional flour

Dissolve yeast in warm water for 5 minutes. Mix in the next 3 ingredients. Beat until smooth. Add eggs and oil. Beat. Add additional flour one cup at a time and beat 5 minutes. Add the flour slowly just until the dough is smooth and elastic. Too much flour will make a tough dough and dry sandwiches! I use white whole wheat flour and usually end up using closer to 4 cups additional flour instead of the full 5 cups the recipe calls for. It took me a few times making the recipe to get the hang of it and figure out what consistency I'm looking for. Think soft and stretchable, but not too sticky. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk. Punch down. Turn out on a greased board, knead for a few seconds and then cut into 24 equal pieces. Spread each piece with fingers into a round shape. Put a cheese slice in the center of the dough. Put 1/3 c. of the filling on the cheese. Pull up the sides, wrapping them around the filling, and pinch edges together. Turn over and place on a greased pan.  Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until lightly browned.

2 lbs. ground beef
2 c. finely chopped onion (I use one large onion and call it close enough)
4 c. shredded cabbage (I use half a head of cabbage. Close enough.)
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
2 tsp salt
1 lb. sharp cheddar or colby cheese cut into 24 slices (I've gotten by with as little as 1/2 lb. when I don't want to buy more cheese)

Brown ground beef in a large skillet. Add onion and cabbage. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except cheese and steam until cabbage has softened (10-15 minutes). Cool while waiting for the dough.

Partake. No, really, you better go dig in before they're gone!

And that, friends, is how we do fall. And all the other seasons. Because they are just too good.

Have you ever eaten runzas before? Have a favorite fall recipe to share? Let's hear it!

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