Polish Beef Rolls {Zrazy Zawijane}

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Tender, aromatic beef in rich, smooth sauce… traditional Polish beef rolls, is one of the most signature Polish dishes. Yes, we are not only about pierogi and cabbage 🙂

Even though beef is the most expensive of all meats in Poland, we did manage to come up with a few interesting dishes made of beef. There aren’t many though. I believe Poles do not know how to make a good beef steak and are convinced that Polish beef is tough and unless you stew it in sauces or soups, it’s uneatable. A few years ago, my American husband proved my family wrong. We found a nice and marbled piece of beef and grilled steaks at a family gathering. Guests were savoring and nodding with surprise when perfectly medium-well done stakes were served after being grilled and rested for a couple of minutes. Minds were change that day 🙂

This is a bit of time-consuming to make, but very much worth it. Be patient, and give yourself some credit for trying. If keeping them rolled is a bit difficult, use more toothpicks, or string instead, and wrap each roll around with string. Just make sure to remove it before serving.

Polish beef rolls, polish beef dish, traditional polish savory beef

We always ate this smooth rich sauce with buckwheat and a side of cold beet salad, always. The aromatic grain soaks up the sauce perfectly and the beets complete the trio. I can’t think of a better way to eat this.

traditional polish beef dish, beef rolls with gravy

Polish Beef Rolls {Zrazy Zawijane}

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 45-60 min


  • 8 steaks ( about 2.5 lbs of lean beef - I’m using eye round steak)
  • 8 oz of smoked bacon
  • 8 pickles
  • 1/2 half + 1 1/2 onion
  • 8 tbs of brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toothpicks
  • Grease for sautéing
  • 1 quart of beef or chicken stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 4 allspice (whole)
  • 3-4 dried mushrooms (if you have)
  • 3 tablespoons of flour
  • 1/2 cup of cold water


  1. Slice onion in half and then into thin wedges. Quarter each pickle.

  2. Pound steaks out to about a pancake thickness. Sprinkle each one with salt and pepper and then apply about a tablespoon of mustard onto one side (thin layer - see pictures above).

  3. Cut bacon strips in half and lay 2 halves in the middle of each steak. Add pickles and onions.

  4. Fold meat around the bacon/pickle/onion “stuffing” starting with the narrower edge in. Fold the other end over the top, and secure the edges with toothpicks. Use as many as you need.

  5. In a large frying pan heat a thin layer of grease. Place rolls in single layer and sauté until golden brown on each side.

  6. Take out rolls and add sliced 1 1/2 onion. Sauté for about 5 min. Add rolls, beef/chicken stock, spices and mushrooms and simmer on low for about 45 minutes. Take rolls and spices out and blend sauce with a hand blender. Thicken the sauce by mixing flour and water and adding to the sauce. Bring to boil. Taste. Add more salt, if needed.


Make sure to remove toothpicks before serving.

If you are not a fan of buckwheat, serve over mashed potatoes. Besides cold beet salad, a side that will go well with this dish are buttered string beans, carrot salad, leek salad or even fried cabbage. Explore all salads on my page to find your favorite. 

Happy exploring and smacznego!



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  1. I love your recipes. But a quick spelling correction for you:

    Steak / steaks: cuts of beef meat

    Stake / stakes: pieces of wood used to hold up plants, or which you stab into the hearts of vampires to kill them.

    They are homonyms; they sound exactly the same.

  2. This is my most favorite dish. I have this three times a year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. I have known about this recipe all my life. It’s a tradition to have this every year in my house. And going one year without it. Would be totally uncool in my book. God Bless and have happy holidays.

  3. Just found you, and I love you!
    I will be making more polish dishes, and brushing up on my Polish as well.
    My Grandmother came from Poland, grew up eating the best tasting main dishes, and deserts. Can’t wait to get your book,
    Best wishes!!!!

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