Bierocks (Beef-and-Cabbage Buns with Cheese)

Why this recipe works:They were brought to the Midwest by Eastern European immigrants in the 19th century, but these meat-filled buns—also known as “runsas”—were new to us. Draining the ground meat after browning it prevents the tender, sweet dough from becoming greasy. Adding mild shredded cheese to the beef-and-cabbage mixture gives our filling a cohesive texture that prevents it from falling out of the dough, both as you assemble the Bierocks, and as you eat them.

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Makes 12 bierocks


4teaspoons vegetable oil
2pounds 90 percent lean ground beef
Salt and pepper
1 onion, chopped fine
1/2small head green cabbage, cored and chopped fine (4 cups)
1cup low-sodium chicken broth
8ounces shredded Colby Jack cheese (2 cups)
1/2cup whole milk
1/2cup water
6tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4cup (1 3/4 ounces) sugar
3 1/2 - 3 3/4cups (17 1/2 to 18 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1/2teaspoon salt
1large egg, lightly beaten, plus 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water

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