Scandinavian Rullepølse

My grandfather is 100% Norwegian and my grandmother is 100% Finnish. Coming from a Scandinavian background, I have been introduced to many traditional dishes. One particular dish really stood out from the rest. During the holidays, my grandfather would prepare a special dish that we all looked forward to, it is called Rullepølse ("Rolla-Pulsa"). Rullepølse is an open-face sandwich that in my opinion is seasoned to perfection. This traditional sandwich is well-known in the Scandinavian culture and is popular during Christmas. As a child, this recipe introduced me to a variety of flavors and foods that I was not familiar with including rye bread, pickles, the combination of beef and pork rolled meat, and the use of paprika. It also made an impression on me since there is a need for time and patience to make sure the dish comes out just right. I will always remember this recipe and pass it on to my future family, carrying on the tradition and introducing others to the Scandinavian cuisine.


Scandinavian Rullepølse


    • 1 large flank steak (approximately 2 lbs.)
    • 1 lb. boneless pork chop, diced into bite size pieces
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons allspice
    • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
    • 1/4 cup salt
    • 12 rye bread slices, cut in half
    • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
    • 24 dill pickle chips
    • 1 tsp. paprika
    • Cheesecloth
    • Cooking twine


  1. Pound flank steak on both sides to flatten and tenderize (rectangle shape). Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, allspice, chopped onion and diced pork. 
  2. Roll meat tightly, from the more narrow end. 
  3. Place in cheese cloth and roll again to cover several times. Tie securely with cooking twine. 
  4. Place cheesecloth wrapped meat roll in a large bowl with 8 cups water, or until water covers top of meat. Sprinkle water with 1/4 cup salt. Refrigerate in salt water for 8 hours or even overnight.
  5. Remove meat from saltwater bath. 
  6. Fill a large pot with water and bring water to a boil. Place meat roll in water and simmer for 2 hours. 
  7. Remove wrapped meat roll from water and place on a flat pan such as a cookie sheet. Place a heavy object on top such as an iron skillet, and put back in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
  8. Remove meat from cheesecloth and slice thin.
  9. To assemble open face sandwiches, butter slices of rye bread, place thin sliced meat on top of each slice of buttered bread and garnish with pickle and paprika. Serve cold and enjoy.

What's your favorite holiday dish?