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Recipe: Polish Beef Roulade or Zrazy Zawijane

I am a high school English teacher who is passionate about writing, theater, directing and enjoying a positive life with family and friends.

Try your hand at this favorite dish of the Old Polish nobility.

Try your hand at this favorite dish of the Old Polish nobility.

A Polish Classic

My husband is an amazing cook. He has brought into our kitchen all the tastes and dishes of his Polish homeland and his mother's kitchen. Although this dish is not exclusive to Poland, it's a favorite historical dish of the region.

There are many variations of this dish. Some people braise the meat in the oven and some use a crock pot. The ingredients that are wrapped up in the meat can vary as well. Like all recipes, you can feel free to adapt this to your taste and cooking style. Here is our version!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

30 min

2 hours

2 hours 30 min

Serves 4, with large portions.


  • 4 thin cut top round steaks
  • 1 - 1 1/2 onions
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 8 - 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 cucumbers in brine pickles, sliced lengthwise in half; We use the Krakus brand.
  • 4 Tablespoons spicy brown mustard, (or more to taste)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup dried mushrooms, reconstitued in water
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 - 1 container button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced or chopped into chunks


  1. Start by prepping your assembly line. Cut the pickles lengthwise in half. Slice the onion into strips. Clean up the garlic cloves. Cut the bacon strips in half. Put about a cup of dried mushrooms in a glass of water.
  2. Using a tenderizer, pound the meat until it is about a 1/4 inch thick.
  3. To assemble each roulade, first season the meat with salt and pepper. Then spread mustard on the entire surface. Starting on one end, lay a bacon strip across. On top of the bacon, lay the pickle, onions, and garlic. Keeping all of those ingredients inside, roll the beef until it is closed. Use toothpicks or string to keep each roulade closed.
  4. Heat some oil in a pan. Place the beef roulades into the pan to sear the meat. Turn the beef to brown on all sides. Add water to the pan if necessary, so that nothing burns.
  5. When the meat is browned, add the reconstituted mushrooms and the liquid from the glass. Add in some more of the onion and put the remainder of the garlic cloves through a garlic press. Cover and simmer.
  6. After about 30 minutes, add in the rest of the onion, red pepper, and mushrooms. Continue to simmer with a lid on the pan.
  7. Add water as the beef simmers, as necessary. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Simmer for up to two hours. The larger the beef roulade, the longer it will need to cook. Smaller roulades may be done in 1 1/2 hours.
Dinner is served!

Dinner is served!

Serving Suggestion

The beef roulades are delicious when served with mashed potatoes and beets or green beans. Enjoy!

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© 2012 Donna Hilbrandt