Rullepølse - Danish spiced meat roll

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Chef Extraordinaire
Moderator Emeritus
Sep 13, 2010
near Montreal, Quebec
Rullepølse is a Danish cold cut. It is made in other Nordic countries with other names. It can be made with pork, beef, veal, lamb, game, and even turkey breast.

This recipe has the classic seasoning. Nowadays people are making rullepølse with fresh herbs, chopped onion, garlic, and all sorts of spices. The more modern rullepølse is generally brined for two days, while the older recipes called for eight to 10 days of brining and the use of saltpetre :ohmy: The meat can be brined before seasoning and rolling, but I prefer to season and roll the meat first. It's easier to roll nicely. It's the slightly more traditional method.

The meat used is usually flank or shoulder. If you use flank or shoulder, be sure to roll it so the grain goes the long way in the finished roll. It was a way to use the cheaper cuts of meat.

I get pork loin cheaper than flank or shoulder, so that's what I use.

1 - 1 1/2 kgs pork loin, flank, or shoulder
1 Tblsp coarse salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 packets gelatine


1 litre water
200 g coarse salt (not iodized)
25 g sugar
You may need to double those amounts, depending on how much meat and the shape of the container in which you will brine the meat.

Cooking broth:

1 Tblsp whole peppercorns
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
optional: "soup vegis", e.g., onion, carrot, celery

Butcher's twine

Dissolve the salt and sugar in the water. Heating will make it dissolve faster, but don't heat it too much. You want it cool when you put the meat in it. Put the brine in a non-reactive container that will fit the brine and the meat.

Cut the meat into a large rectangle ~ 1 cm thick.



Cut off any large chunks of fat, but don't make it too lean or it will be dry. Roll up the rectangle from the short end and see if it is equally thick the whole length. Trim the ends so they are straight. Unroll it. Trim any really thick places if that side is too thick. Place some trimmed off bits on the thin places to even it out. Roll it up again and check how even it is now. Rearrange the trim bits if necessary.

Sprinkle the gelatine over the side of the meat which will be inside after rolling. Sprinkle it on both sides of the adjusting trim bits. Make sure it is fairly evenly distributed.

Mix the spices with the salt and sprinkle evenly over the side of the meat which will be inside after rolling. Starting at a short end, make a fold approximately two inches from the end. Continue folding until the entire piece of meat is rolled up. With the "seam" down (or on the side if you can't make it roll up so it can be down) tie up the meat.


Put the meat in the brine. Put a small plate on top of the meat to keep it under the brine. Put something heavy on top of the plate, if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for two days. You can leave it longer if you get busy, but two days seems to work best.

After brining for two or more days, take the meat out of the brine and rinse it in running water. Put it in a large pot. Cover with water and add the whole peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, and any soup vegis.

Bring the water to a boil and simmer gently for an hour or two. Check after an hour. Stick a poultry needle deep into the meat and pull it out. If it doesn't stick, it is ready. It should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Let the roll cool in the cooking broth for about an hour.

If you happen to have a rullepølse press:

Johns første rullepølse by MarieU, on Flickr

put the rullepølse in the press, tighten the press, and refrigerate. You could put the rullepølse between two boards to press it. I put it in a bread pan and put another bread pan on top. Then I get my husband to press down hard on the top bread pan while I tie them together with two pieces of twine. Refrigerate for about 12 hours pressed. When it is nice and cold, remove it and cut off the butcher's twine. It is now ready to slice thinly.


Here is a link to the photos I took of making the rullepølse. It may make it easier to understand the process.ølse

Here's a link to a YouTube video on how to cut and roll the meat. Unfortunately it's in Danish. I made notes to the video and will attach them to this post.

Here's a link to the continuation of that video, where he shows how to tie the meat. I think the picture part should be useful without notes.


  • Notes to Sådan laver man rullepølse video.pdf
    14.3 KB · Views: 2,117
I forgot to mention that the fat should be rolled towards the inside of the roll.

Also, I use the broth in recipes that call for pork stock. Just remember it is already salty.
I just read in a Danish food forum, that the rullepølse, as well as any other homemade cold cuts, should be simmered in 80 deg C (176 F) until the meat reaches 65 C (149 F). It should reach an internal temperature of 70 C (158 F) while resting in the hot water (broth).

These recommendations were from a professional butcher.

I bet my rullepølse will come out better that way. :chef:
Tax I must have missed this, I love cold cuts and I can taste in my head I will enjoy this.
I am interested why you seem shocked at the time factor and the use of saltpeter in the original:)
Tax I must have missed this, I love cold cuts and I can taste in my head I will enjoy this.
I am interested why you seem shocked at the time factor and the use of saltpeter in the original:)

Saltpeter is just creepy. I like my food without weird additives. It was more for the saltpeter than the brining time.

Of course it is good to know that 8-10 days in brine won't hurt it. I've gotten too busy to pull it out of the brine after 2 days. You should soak it for an hour for every extra day that you leave it in the brine.

I wish my meat slicer didn't have a missing part. This cold cut should really be sliced thinner than in my picture.
Can someone help me with my Rullepølse please.
I'm OK on my recipe, assembly and cook.

I'm using two boards and clamps to squeeze the Rullepølse .

I'm just not sure how tight to make the clamps.
I've tightened the clamps as tight as possible in the past but I'm thinking this may be too much squeeze as my Rullepølse always seems very dry.

Any one have ant thoughts??

How long are you leaving it under pressure? Maybe less time would help. I've seen everything from 8 to 24 hours suggested.
I doubt it's the pressure. I think it's probably not enough fat in the meat. I find that most of the pork we get in North America is too lean. I have added extra fat (cut off other pork) and that helped.
I just noticed that the link to the photo album mentioned in the first post no longer works, because Google moved all the Picasa Web photos to Google photos. So, here is the updated link.
OK I'm getting ready to try again.
For the first layer I'm considering some form of lean beef or lamb shoulder, butterflied and or hammered to size.
Then spices, follower by strips of pork but.

What do you think????
Ah now I see the problem, it is lack of fat. You can use fat trimmed form other cuts of pork, uncured, unsalted fat back, caul fat or suet to add a good layer of fat where that bit in pic 12 lands, just need more of it.

My personal choice is 2 layers of caul fat as that nearly disappears in cooking but, it's not always easy to get caul fat.
The rullpölsa I buy has a layer of belly fatt rolled in and it is heaven. Yeah I dont make it, I buy it made here in Sweden with Swedish pork by a Dane.
OK it's out of the refrigerator.

Not bad this time.
I cut way back on the clamping pressure that I'd been using in the past.
Now that I think about my folks had used a couple boards wrapped in a rope :)

I also used the fattiest pork that I could find.

As this was a layered beef / pork product I now need to find the best type of beef to use. I wanted to try lamb but I thought it was too expensive for my experiment.

Thanks all !!!
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