Can I just say that I love the Capitol Cookbook? I just keep coming back to it. It lives in a sweet spot of history for recipes. It was before home cooking went gourmet, so most of the recipes have very simple and common ingredients. I asked a woman at work for a good vegetarian recipe with basic pantry staples, and she sent me a link to a recipe with mascarpone in it. Do you have mascarpone in your kitchen right now? Me neither. I'm not even sure where I would buy it.
When I first went through the book, there were several recipes that I knew I wanted to make. One of these was Bieroch, courtesy of Senator Bob Dole. I always liked Bob Dole. And bieroch was a traditional Kansas recipe. They're like Kansas hot pockets, packed with simplicity and nutrition and ground beef. One thing I remember vividly from my last trip to Kansas were the signs put up by the Cattle Growers Council or whatever it's called. There are probably multiple organizations within Kansas that are devoted to promoting beef as America's meat, grown right here in America's beef basket. We stopped one night for dinner at a truck stop diner recommended by my Uncle Paul, where I had an open-faced roast beef sandwich and Josh had chicken-fried steak, which doesn't even make sense, but was delicious anyway.
When I made these, I cheated a little. I looked up a recipe online, so that I could read the reviews of what home chefs had added to improve the dish. Frankly, Bob Dole's version seemed a little bland. For the dough, I used the 20-minute pizza dough recipe from The Tightwad Gazette. I made two pizza's worth of dough and still had some filling left over. Feel free to use whatever dough you like; I bet refrigerated biscuit dough would work if you were feeling shortcutty.
These were a huge hit. Since I'll be making them again, we've been trying to figure out what to call them. Sure, we could just call them by their actual name, but that's no fun. Bob Dole Rolls? Kansas Hot Pockets?
My changes: After the hamburger is browned, I add a little flour, some Worcestershire sauce, and a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Isn't it nice to get to use some of your more obscure spices? Then I throw the cabbage in with the beef, cover the pan and let it get steamed in there. You might need to add a little bit of water to keep stuff from burning on the bottom.