Bife a Rolê

Beef RollI don’t usually cook meat! In my house it is usually my husband who is in charge of cooking the meat and I do the rest of the cooking. Ok, so I do cook some meat, but it is mainly chicken. My husband credits himself with teaching me how to cook meat and getting over my squeamishness with even touching it. When I met my husband in 2005 I didn’t eat much meat and what I did eat generally consisted of chicken, turkey, and some more chicken. After living in Brazil for half a year in 2005 and 2006 I had been converted into a full meat eater. Yes, my husband did have a large role to play in this as he is a die-hard meat eater and needs it almost on a daily basis (me, not so much)!

Beef RollWhen I started on this journey to learn how to cook Brazilian food I knew that meat would pop-up at some point and I would have to buckle up and make an effort to really cook those red meats right. In such a meat-loving country as Brazil there is no way to avoid cooking meat. So, when I discovered this delicious dish I figured that this would be the perfect way to start my new meat cooking experiences. There isn’t too much seaoning, frying, grilling…etc that goes into cooking Bife a Rolê, so not too many areas to get it wrong. 

This is such a tasty and simple dish to make that after making it once I think I am now going to include it into my regular weekly cooking. If you have a pressure cooker at home this dish is quick and no hassle. This is a wonderful to eat with rice, beans, and collards. Of course, if you do not have a pressure cooker you can just follow the same cooking directions, it will just take longer!

For some beautiful pictures of how to assemble the Bife a Rolê take a look at the beautiful blog A Clove of Garlic, A Pinch of Salt. Tiffany adds a few more ingredients to her Bife a Rolê and there is nothing stopping you from adding whatever you think might go great in this dish.

Happy rolling!

Beef RollIngredients

1/2 kg (1 lb) patinho or (in the USA) silverside beef
1/2 onion, sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
4 strips of bacon
16oz can whole tomatoes
3 cans of water (same as the tomato)

Flatten the meat and cut into long strips of approximately 2 – 3 inches wide. Roll each strip with carrots, bacon, and onion inside (or any other fillings of your choice). Hold the rolls together with one or two toothpicks. Put tomato, water, oregano, and salt in the pressure cooker. Place the beef rolls in the tomato mix making sure that they are fully covered by the liquid, if not, add more water. Cook for 30 minutes. Open the pressure cooker and cook open for approximately 10 to 15 more minutes depending on how much liquid is in the pan and how much liquid you want to serve with the bife a rolê. Serve hot with rice, beans, and sautéed greens.

For a PDF of this recipe CLICK HERE!


13 thoughts on “Bife a Rolê

    • Yes, using a pressure cooker is definitely the way to go. I use mine for everything, the other night I was late with starting cooking and my husband and I made lentil soup in the pressure cooker. It was absolutely amazing! Definitely my favorite thing to use in the kitchen.


      • I’d never used one before coming to Brazil. When the ladies from church organized a “chá de casa nova” (house warming party/shower), they got me THREE of them… So now I’ve learned to cook the beans, but I still have to experiment a little more with it. I think I’m gonna try your beef soon. 🙂


  1. First of all, BEAUTIFUL! This is one of (because there are many!) favorite Brazilian dishes. And your finished product looks great!

    Secondly, I opened your post because I just wanted to read it, not even knowing you were going to mention my post. Thank you!!!

    And third, I have been trying to comment here for quite some time and WordPress and I are not getting along. Switched over to use my Twitter account… I hope this works!


    • Yes this is one of my favorite dishes too. So easy and so tasty!

      I loved your post and you had great pictures of the actual process, which I have a VERY hard time getting!

      Your Twitter account worked:) Not sure why wordpress is giving you a hard time…it shouldn’t!!!!


  2. Saskia,
    Your cultural and natural descriptions, your recipes and photos are so enticing….You should soon have a vacation possibility…. Truly off the beaten track….A week in the remote Brazilian countryside….all meals included… nearly everything organic and made with loving attention….

    I’d sign up for sure!


    • Wanda, We have talked many times about vacation possibilities on the farm, but can’t quite seem to find the time to make it happen. But, we always love to have people come and visit, so you are always welcome.


  3. Thanks for the recipe. I will certainly try it. As we are relatively here in Brazil, cooking with the local products is quite an adventure.
    If you have any advice about all the cheeses here, that would be very much appreciated !


    • Cooking with the local products is so much fun and there is definitely a lot to learn. I haven’t yet used too many of the more traditional cheeses here. One that I do use a lot is queijo minas or meia cura. This is traditionally used for pao de queijo, but can easily be used for any other foods (I use it as parmesan and grate it onto pasta). Meia cura has a stronger taste and is harder. Queijo branco/fresco is the very fresh white cheese that is often eaten on bread or crackers. It is a mild flavored cheese that is only a few days old. It is used for the popular dessert romeo e julieta, queijo fresco and goiabada. I hope this helps a little bit. If there are any cheeses in particular you would like to know more about, please let me know.
      Happy Cooking!


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