‘Zrazy’ Polish Beef Rolls

‘Zrazy’ are perfect for autumn and winter seasons. It’s a slow, comfort food we all need especially when it’s cold and rainy / snowy outside. The aroma of simmering meat will cover you like a blanket.
Do you have some time to spare? Play in the kitchen and make some ‘zrazy’ :).

Ingredients / 4 servings 

1 lb beef, I used beef eye round, cut against the grain to ¾ inch thick portions, use anything good for roasting or braising
Canola oil, ghee or lard for frying
4 slices Polish style bacon (boczek), preferably not smoked
1-1 ½  tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 cucumbers in brine cut in four wedges, ‘kiszone ogórki’, the kind you’ll use for making cucumber soup (Krakus or Bacik brand, or anything from the European deli)
1 small onion, cut in wedges
1 bay leaf, peppercorns, freshly ground pepper and salt
Fresh or dry mushrooms, optional 


  • Clean and dry the meat. Use a meat tenderizer to shape every portion. Pound down to no thicker than half an inch. Be very careful not to make any holes. I use a wooden tenderizer which is more gentle for this work.  
  • On high, stirring constantly, sauté briefly the onion and cucumber until they get some color. Use a little salt and pepper. 

  • Spread about ¼ tsp or slightly more mustard over each piece of beef. Use freshly ground pepper, I like lots of it.  Be careful with salt. The rest of ingredients like bacon, mustard or cucumber are salty already. I didn’t add any additional salt this time. 
  • Arrange the onion and cucumber on the meat and roll it up. Secure it with toothpicks or thread. 
  • On high, heat the oil, ghee or lard. Brown rolled ‘zrazy’ on all sides for a short time.   
  • Place them in a pot along with all the juices from the frying pan. Add a bay leaf and about 5 peppercorns. If using dry mushrooms, it’s time to add a small handful, cleaned and cut in small pieces.   
  • Cover the ‘zrazy’ with water and simmer on low for 1½ to 2 hours adding more water only if needed.   
  • Meanwhile, if using fresh mushrooms, sauté them with butter. Butter adds so much flavor :). 
  • Taste the sauce and adjust the spices, salt, pepper. If you decide to use fresh mushrooms add it now and simmer a little longer.  
  • Thicken the sauce with flour, if needed. How much flour? It depends how much sauce you have. Just mix flour with a little cold water before adding hot liquid. I reduced my sauce to the point where no flour was needed.  
  • Serve ‘zrazy’ with potatoes or any kasha, beets or sauerkraut or even more cucumbers in brine:). I’m just addicted to them. 

You Might Also Like