Monday, October 11, 2010

Sambuza Runza!!!! A recipe if you call it that...............

This is a recipe that I got from a friend here in Alaska. She got it from her mother in law.  I think we have both made major changes to it to suit our tastes and what our families will actually eat.  My house, full of healthy appetites, have been bugging me all year to make them.  Today seemed to be the day since they are very inexpensive (I am always budgeting), I happen to have 1.2 gallons of fermented kraut, and I literally have 3.5 freezers full of moose and caribou due to the successful hunters that live here.

Traditionally the Runza comes from Germany.  It is a hot meat filled bread pocket with cabbage and onions.  My friend always adds cheddar cheese to hers.  Today, I am flavoring the meat with middle eastern spices and parsley to resemble a sambuza, the deep fried, triangular, meat pocket found at the snack bar in Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia, where I grew up.


  1. your favorite bread or dinner roll recipe
  2. sauer kraut or lightly sauteed shredded cabbage (see posted link to make your own)
  3. ground beef, moose, caribou or anything ground

You might have noticed by now that I do not measure anything much.  I usually make the dough to fit my largest bowl or just make a double recipe for my family of 7.  While the dough is rising I cook the ground meat and season with anything.  Salt and pepper works but today I used Bazhaar liberally and dried parsley flakes, sea salt, pepper, and garlic to taste. Bazhaar is a middle eastern spice that is made from a mixture of 7 other spices, if you have ever had cupsa and eaten on the floor then you are craving it now. 

Add onions to taste into the meat mixture.

Next, punch down your dough and while waiting the 10 minutes for it to rest, drain your sauer kraut in a colander.

My kraut is made from cabbage, broccoli, turnips, zuchini, and carrots from my garden.  I watched youtube videos to learn how.

 Here is a cabbage and a turnip from my garden before they were lacto fermented.

Next, divide dough into pieces until you have pieces a little larger than a golf ball.  In a double recipe I got 18 of these.

Roll out your lump of dough til it is about the size of a dinner plate, shape doesn't matter. My dough is 100% whole wheat and still rolls out perfectly!

Use plenty of flour to prevent from sticking.
Next add a scoop of sauerkraut.  I actually measured since I made so many and wanted them to all be the exact same size. My scoop was half a cup but I packed it overflowing.

I flatten this out a bit and then add two thirds a cup of cooked ground meat on top.

The next part is easy, just folding it closed.  If you want cheese this is the best time to add it, right before you start folding.

Fold opposite sides toward each other.

I make these squarish.  It is not important to seal shut.  You can let them rise a little before you bake but I just put them right in the oven folded side down.

Bake long enough so that they brown on top in a 350 degree oven.  You can butter the tops and eat with bleu cheese dressing or ranch.  When cooled I like to wrap the extras in foil and freeze for lunches.



  1. I liked the texture of the bread. If you made it from scratch, you should post it...the filling was a lil dry...I would def add onion and pepper and try a cheese cream sauce and I like the sauted cabbage idea.

    Thanks for share'n...once again.

    On a side note: One of my fresh-from-the-oven creations had to compete with one of those "from-the-store" multi-flavored, with all the preservatives and such in it! That's blasphemy! And a slap in the face for those of us who strive to live life (semi)naturally! LOL

  2. Christy,
    The first time you made these for us was when we were all at Bonnie's house in LaVaca when she delivered Robert. I don't think my stomach has ever been so full I could not stop eating these. Have you ever frozen them before you cooked them? Or maybe baked them partially then freeze or do you always bake fully then freeze. Thanks so much for posting and making these. I am going to go BUY some meat and make these too.

  3. My very last batch WAS overcooked and they dried out a bit, my bread is homemade 100% whole wheat. The kids love a slice of cheddar in each Runza. I freeze Runzas AFTER they are cooked. I have never tried freezing before baking. They are great to take on day trips or school lunches. They thaw out by lunch time, nuke them for a minute, and enjoy with Ranch dressing or our fav bleu cheese!