Bierocks, otherwise known as runza, is essentially the German version of a hot pocket!
These simple, sealed sandwiches are a delicious combination of ground meat (usually beef), onions, sauerkraut or cabbage, and many times, cheese.
These are extremely popular in the midwest states, like Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska, thanks to German Russian Mennonites who immigrated to this country in the 1870’s.
In fact, the name is actually said to be derived from the Russian word, pirog, which is a Russian pie.
If you are interested in making this convenient meal, what do you serve with bierocks?
Bierocks are a flavorful fare that have German and Russian origins. Therefore, you can never go wrong with potato based dishes! Soups, fries and potato salads are all perfect pairings to this meal. Moreover, select a sauce such as a Reuben dip or a mustard based dressing. These will complement the sauerkraut nicely. Finally, since this is a sour tasting meal, choose sweet dessert options to add contrast. This will mellow the impact of the strong flavors.
- Bierocks Versus Runza
- What To Serve With Bierocks (Runza)
- The Best Dips/Sauces To Dunk Your Bierocks In
- German Side Dishes To Serve With Bierocks
- Delicious Desserts To Pair With Bierocks
- Final Thoughts
Bierocks Versus Runza
For those wondering about the difference in these two dishes, the only real contrast is the shape of the pastry pocket and where it is served. A bierock will be round whereas a Runza will be square.
Additionally, the folks in Kansas refer to this meal as bierocks while Runza is the title of the same delicacy served in Nebraska.
What To Serve With Bierocks (Runza)
1. German Potato Salad
This is a flavorful and filling side that accents bierocks nicely thanks to the meaty and sour flavor components.
Unlike potato salads of the American South, German potato salad features bacon, unpeeled red potatoes, mustard and vinegar.
This adds a very acidic element to the dish, which pairs nicely with the sauerkraut in the runza.
It can also be served hot or cold, making it a versatile side dish that is ideal for any occasion.
2. Pommes Frites
Everyone knows that a meaty and cheesy sandwich goes well with classic French fries!
This is a simple side that won’t steal attention from the main dish. Moreover, it is easy to make.
Season them with a dash of salt and utilize your preferred dip to dress this starch up.
3. German Potato Soup
On a cold day or night, there is nothing quite as satisfying as a bowl of steamy soup.
German potato is a hearty option that contains the aforementioned potatoes, along with carrots, onions, garlic and celery.
This will help to add a bit of color and a differing texture to your meal, while still utilizing complimentary ingredients.
Additionally, when you serve this side with your bierocks, you can nix the dip and just dunk your doughy pastry pocket directly in the creamy broth.
4. Braised Green Beans
For those looking to add a healthy side to the mix, consider a simple vegetable.
Braised green beans are made with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, making them an easy partner to your savory sandwich, without stealing attention.
For those who want to add a smoky component to the dish, you can never go wrong with the bacon!
This will pair well with the beef in your bierock and add a bit more flavor to your beans.
5. Simple Side Salad
If you want to add texture and color, then consider a simple side salad. Romaine lettuce paired with carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes and red cabbage is a great option that goes well with virtually any meal. Plus, sauerkraut is made with cabbage!
Thus, your two main menu items will feature the same ingredient.
Make sure to drizzle on a honey mustard dressing to ensure that your dips coordinate well.
Apfelmus is good old-fashioned applesauce. As we all know, the sweet taste of apples mixed with the hint of spice from cinnamon is a delicious and easy option that pairs well with beef!
This makes it another easy and delicious side to throw in with your bierocks.
Most importantly, since this pastry pocket is great for on the go, a side like apfelmus is a simple choice because you can buy individually packed products to throw in with your lunch.
This Bavarian sausage is different from the more commonly served Bratwurst.
Instead of containing pork, this meaty link in made with pork and veal. This gives it a more mild flavor.
Moreover, it will definitely add some contrast to your plate! Unlike other varieties, this meat contains no nitrates so it turns white when cooked.
Why is this so perfect to pair with bierocks? They both contain beef and onions and go great with any sauce!
The flavor is in the name — this sour, fermented cabbage adds a salty component to any dish.
Stereotypically, bierocks contain this acidic ingredient, but for the true fans of this fare, it is a fantastic side to add to this meal.
Best of all, if you made your bierocks yourself, you will already have it on hand!
Alternatively, you can also add sauerkraut to your weisswurst or your green beans!
The Best Dips/Sauces To Dunk Your Bierocks In
Every good sandwich is incomplete without a signature sauce! Whether you like spice, sweetness or something in between, we have the top choices to serve with your bierocks!
Remember that this is a sour main course, so look for dips that will compliment this flavor component.
1. Spicy Brown Mustard
Sauerkraut is salty and sour, as most fermented foods are, so you want to add a bit of spice to offset this pungent taste.
Thus, grab your favorite brand of spicy brown mustard and dunk away!
This is an extremely simple way to dress up your bierock and it will pair nicely with any of the sides on our list.
2. Reuben Sauce
When pairing any food, you want to make sure that the flavor profiles match. Thus, a reuben sauce is the ideal choice to partner with your bierocks.
Why? It includes sauerkraut in the ingredients list!
Otherwise referred to as Russian dressing, this creamy condiment has a strong and spicy taste thanks to the addition of horseradish in the mix.
Best of all, it is another quick dip that you can grab at the supermarket!
3. Au Jus
Since bierocks feature a similar ingredients list to a French Dip sandwich, why not consider trying out the sauce for size?
This thin gravy will be the ideal dip to serve to your beefy bierock.
German Side Dishes To Serve With Bierocks
1. Kartoffelpuffer [German Potato Pancakes]
For those who want to indulge in their bierocks at breakfast time, consider adding some German potato pancakes to the menu!
Made with potatoes, eggs, and many times onions and garlic, this heavier breakfast pancake is the ideal combination of sweet and sour.
This means that it mirrors the flavors of the bierocks perfectly. Most importantly, because this is a savory dish, you can pair your pancakes with any dip on our list.
Akin to dumplings, these thick, doughy and sticky noodles are another classic German dish. Moreover, it can be mixed with any sauce you see fit.
This makes them a fantastic compliment to bierocks because you can choose options that partner well with the dip that you selected. Best of all, this pasta takes minimal effort to prepare!
For those on the go, pretzels are a classic German pastry that seem to be a fan favorite in America as well as Germany.
Kids and adults love this snack plain or smothered in sweet, sour and savory sauces.
This is an ideal attribute for those who like to douse their bierocks in sauce. Most notably, pretzels are a chewy and salty side that will not steal attention from the main course.
Delicious Desserts To Pair With Bierocks
Bierocks tend to have a slightly sour flavor to them thanks to sauerkraut and cabbage that is included in the recipe.
In order to help subdue this flavor, look for heavily sweetened options that will stimulate one of your other taste receptors.
1. German Chocolate Cake
This sugary dessert features classic chocolate cake encased in sections of a pecan coconut frosting.
The sweetness is guaranteed to mellow the palate while tantalizing your taste buds in a different way.
This is a great option when you have a lighter vegetable based side because you will have room to indulge in a buttery dessert.
2. Black Forest Cake
Otherwise known as Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Black forest cake is decadence at its finest.
This layering of devil’s food cake mix, sweet whipped cream, cherries, and kirsch (a type of cherry flavored brandy) is a rich, sweet and chocolatey concoction that will partner nicely with the main course.
That is because the tart flavor of the cherries will mirror that of the sauerkraut, but the sweetness of the cake and airy whipped layering will prevent your taste buds from being overpowered from the sour components of the meal.
3. Apple Pie Bierocks
Picture apple pie filling in a doughy bread casing. If you are going to serve meaty bierocks for lunch then why not continue the theme throughout the entirety of the meal and end it with a fruity version for dessert!
This is a much lighter option that features the slightly tart taste of apple, a hint of spice from the cinnamon and ginger, and the caramel-like flavor that accompanies brown sugar.
Just like the German chocolate cake, this sweet treat will soften the palate and leave you feeling satisfied.
4. Vanilla Ice Cream With Fruit
Sometimes a lighter fare is favored when eating a hearty lunch. A simple serving of vanilla bean ice cream topped with fresh berries or peaches will provide the perfect touch of sweetness to your savory, and yet sour meal, without overfilling you!
Best of all, you can completely customize this dessert with the fruit you have on hand and it takes minutes to make.
Bierocks are a delicious dish that are easy to create and completely customizable!
Most importantly, since you simply fold the dough over the ingredients and bake them, they can also be quite healthy.
When you serve you bierocks, remember to contemplate where you will be when consuming them.
Since they are convenient on the go, many people prefer French fries or applesauce as their sides because they are easy to transport.
Conversely, if you are sitting down for dinner, soup or vegetable sides can provide more hearty and healthy menu options.
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