Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vegetarian (Meatless) Runza-Like Pastry

Cook the filling
Stick it in the dough

Bake it up all golden.

If you're not from this part of the Midwest, let me give you a crash course in Runzas. They are a cabbage and ground beef filling baked in a very fluffy dough pastry. People really seem to love them, in a somewhat fanatical fashion.

I hate to brag, but what I baked tonight (says my family) is a million times better than any Runza you can buy in a fast-food joint, meatless or not. Danny was somewhat skeptical, but after a couple bites he demolished that pastry down to the remaining crumbs.

The recipe makes a dozen. Using the fake-meat, it is probably best to re-heat them on a baking sheet in the oven rather than microwaving. I don't think they would be very nice cold. Fake-meat has limitations. I do think it could be made with seasoned black beans that have been mushed-up a bit if you really hate the texturised soy stuff. I'm not wild about it myself, but it worked really well for these.

You Will Need:

For the dough:

4 1/2 cups AP flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons granulated yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs

Soften the yeast in the warm water and let proof. In a pan, scald the milk, vegetable shortening and butter. Cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, combine 1 3/4 cup of the flour with the salt and sugar. Add the cooled milk mixture, the yeast and the eggs. With an electric mixer, beat three minutes on high until blended. By hand (a wooden spoon works well) mix in the remaining flour (You may need more or less) until you have a stiff, but workable dough. Knead well. Place in a buttered bowl and cover. Let rise 1 hour. Make the filling while you wait.

For The Filling:

1 tube Gimme Lean Ground Beef Substitute
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons cooking oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cups chopped cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste (the meat substitute is salty, so go easy)

Brown the onions in the oil and butter. Add the meat substitute and break-up well with a spatula. Cook a few minutes until browned. Add the cabbage and cook well until quite soft. Adjust seasonings and remove from heat. Cool slightly before filling pastry.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large baking sheet (two if they are small)

Divide dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each out into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Place a few tablespoons of filling in the centre. Fold and pinch closed. Pierce with a knife to vent and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all are done. Bake 20-30 minutes or until nicely browned and golden. Serve hot.

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