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Runzas

July 31, 2011

Photo by Pat

The 60’s were my growing into adulthood years. Although I never participated in Woodstock or did the “hippy” thing, I still enjoyed watching the hippy movement from afar. Joe and I lived near San Francisco just after we married and weekend trips usually involved Haight/Ashbury forays in the big city. People watching took on a new meaning as we observed the culture that was taking over the city.

Leftover from those years has been a fondness for the singer and story teller, Arlo Guthrie. One of his tunes “Alice’s Restaurant” has been stuck in my brain all these years so when we moved to Lincoln, NE I was shocked to see Alice’s Restaurant right across the street from where we lived.

No, it wasn’t the real Alice’s Restaurant but it was a mighty fine place owned by Alice Schroeder. Alice was a fabulous cook and over her working years, opened several places in the Lincoln area. My baker, Gordon and I sat with Alice the day they auctioned off the equipment from her last restaurant just off “O” Street. Retirement is hard.

There is a popular chain of Runza restaurants in Nebraska and if you chance a meeting with a Big Red native, they might mention a craving for just one more Runza.

Thumbing through one of my Lincoln cookbooks, I came across one of Alice’s recipes for Runzas. She was of German decent so she really knew how to make them good. This was the perfect time for Tanya and I to make a batch for just a little taste of home.

This recipe has been altered with shortcuts to make it easier to make. Making a batch for dinner should be no problem. Also we have found that they freeze and reheat very well which could make it possible to feed that Runza craving at a moment’s notice! As usual I have printed the recipe both in the original meat version as well as the vegetarian version.

Runzas
Makes 8

Photo by Pat

1 box Pillsbury Hot Roll Mix
1 egg
2 T. butter

Mix the dough according to the package directions.

Meat Filling:
1 med. onion, chopped
1 pound hamburger
½ large head of cabbage, finely chopped
Seasoned black pepper
salt
garlic salt
Optional ingredients if desired: (1/2 – 1 cup)
cooked potato cubes, shred cheddar, mushrooms, bell peppers, bbq sauce

Brown the hamburger then add the rest of the ingredients. Stir and cook until the cabbage has wilted. Be sure to season well. Drain the filling just to make sure there is no liquid left to spoil your dough.

Photo by Pat

Vegetarian version:
1 can (2#) Worthington Vegetarian Burger (Amazon.com or College Park Christian Academy 573-445-6315)

2 qts. raw cabbage, chop fine

1 t. salt
1 t. garlic salt

1 c. chopped onions

¼ c. butter or margarine

Mix the above ingredients and cook in a large skillet until the cabbage has wilted. Check your seasonings and add more if needed. Drain if needed.

To make the runzas: Divide the dough into 8 portions. Roll out each dough ball to about the size of your hand. Place a #12 scoop (1/2 cup or a little more) in the middle and bring up the edges of the dough and pinch to seal. Place the sealed side down on a cookie sheet. I get about 6 per sheet. Let rise a few minutes (filling is warm so it will rise quick) and then place them in a 375 degree oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Brush with melted butter when they come out. We like them served with brown gravy.

To freeze: Wrap each cooled runza in wax paper and then in zip lock bags. Freeze. To reheat, place in casserole dish and heat covered. Remove cover the last couple of minutes in the oven.

Photo by Pat

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 31, 2011 5:11 pm

    I like my runzas with ketchup. I have fond memories of getting covered in flour making homemade runzas with my grandma. I make them in the fall and winter for my family now. Double yum!!

  2. July 31, 2011 7:14 pm

    I’ve always loved ketchup and that sounds good to me! Chelle was just saying that she remember making them in school for the school lunch program. Did you get in on that too?

  3. August 1, 2011 1:31 am

    Those look just wonderful!

    • August 1, 2011 1:33 am

      Thanks! Maybe one day soon it might be cool enough to enjoy them!

  4. Tanya Parmele permalink
    August 5, 2011 10:26 pm

    They were so fun to make and so very tasty. Thanks for sharing the afternoon with me so we could make several batches to freeze for later!

    • August 5, 2011 11:40 pm

      Always love cooking with you! We need to think of other things to make just so we can enjoy another afternoon together!

  5. carolyn eason permalink
    December 8, 2015 10:50 pm

    Hi Pat. Can I get on the list for your blogs? Need my email? Carolyn Wisbey Eason

  6. February 2, 2012 4:46 pm

    Thanks for linking me. Always happy to help!!!

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