Run for the Runzas!

Running with the runzas!  L to R: spicy ground turkey runzas with cilantro, soy sauce, caramelized shallots, scallions, red chilies, and a sprinkle of Cha-cha Lima; caramelized cabbage and red wine tarragon pork sausage with Cy Salt from Story City Locker; traditional runzas with ground beef, caramelized onions, and Whassamatterhorn.

Running with the runzas!  L to R: spicy ground turkey runzas with cilantro, soy sauce, caramelized shallots, scallions, red chilies, and a sprinkle of Cha-cha Lima; caramelized cabbage and red wine tarragon pork sausage with Cy Salt from Story City Locker; traditional runzas with ground beef, caramelized onions, and Whassamatterhorn.

Imagine Hot Pockets that don't suck, and you've got yourself a runza—an awesome hand-held savory pie from Nebraska (Omaha boasts a chain of runza restaurants called The Runza Hut).

Our wonderful friend, Barbara, has been driving test-driving runza recipes from across the interwebs, and we're passing the success stories onto you! 

THE POTATO DOUGH RECIPE
From Tastebook's recipe for beer rocks.
2 large peeled potatoes cooked in water (save the water)
1 pkg yeast
2/3 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs well beaten
2/3 cup butter
7 - 7 1/2 cups flour
Egg yolks and water for brushing rolls 

Mash potatoes to make 1 full cup. Measure potato water to make 1 1/2 cup. Pour potato water into large bowl, add 1 pkg yeast, stir until dissolved. To the water/yeast mix, add 2/3 cup sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 eggs well beaten. Add 2/3 cup butter and mashed potatoes to the flour. Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Add more flour to make it easy to handle. Then knead until dough is elastic.

THE FILLING
Based on the recipe from the Food Network. We tried several different fillings, and they were all great.
1 lb lean ground beef
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 tbsp Whassamatterhorn
1 dash ground caraway
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
2 cloves chopped garlic
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for the baking sheets
8 ounces baby spinach

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef, season with Whassamatterhorn and caraway, breaking up the beef, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer it to a bowl.

Drain and discard all but a film of the fat from the skillet. Add the butter; when it has melted, add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the mixture to the bowl containing the beef.

Without cleaning the skillet, add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Saute the spinach over high heat until wilted and the excess liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute. Chop the spinach, then add it to the beef mixture and set aside to cool.

ALL TOGETHER NOW
Roll out the dough. Flatten a dough ball on a heavily floured surface and roll out into a 3-by-5-inch rectangle. Then make wrapping flaps from the four corners of the rectangle by rolling out each corner thinly so you have a thick rectangle with four thinner triangular wings at the corners.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling into the center of the dough rectangle and wrap the flaps over it, pinching to close. Flip the bundle over in your hands, gently forming the runza into a fat football shape. Set the runza seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough balls. Let the runzas rise about an inch, uncovered, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Whisk the remaining egg and 2 tablespoons water to make an egg wash and brush it thinly over the tops of the runzas. Bake until golden brown, 25 minutes.

You can freeze them, too! Next up, we're going to try breakfast runzas. Grab and go, salty dogs!