by Apr 16, 2021

I am not much of a beef eater, but everyone else in our family loved it when I served Poor Boy Fillets. The name comes from the fact that these beefy rolls are made with ground sirloin instead of sirloin steak.

Since this recipe only has 4 ingredients and is so easy to make, I never really minded making it, and actually enjoyed eating it, myself.  This recipe has been a favorite family recipe for about 30 years now.  The next generation- the grandkids- also love it. I made two versions since son Karl is trying to avoid dairy, and because he prefers turkey bacon to regular bacon. I used one pound of ground sirloin with regular bacon and Swiss cheese (in the foreground below), the other pound with turkey bacon and vegan cheese (in the background).  

Although this recipe makes 6 portions, the fillets shrink while broiled. When our children were little, that was okay. They were satisfied with one fillet.  However, as they grew, their appetites grew, and doubling the ingredients became the norm.  I now plan on at least two fillets per person. So, if you have more than three people at the table, you will probably want to scale up the amounts accordingly.

Ground sirloin is better for than this than ground round, in my opinion.  I definitely would not use 70/30 blend of ground beef because it gets too greasy and shrinks more. Just be careful about overcooking. The cheese and olives help provide moisture inside, but you don’t want to overcook it.  

Precook the bacon slightly, especially if you like crispy bacon.  Otherwise, the inside of the fillet gets overdone before the bacon gets crisp.  If you prefer the melty fatty bits and chewier bacon, you do not need to precook the bacon.

Place a sheet of wax paper on the counter and pat the ground beef out so it is approximately 12” long and 8“wide. Sprinkle the Swiss Cheese and chopped olives evenly over top.  I don’t always measure, but I am willing to bet that I usually put about 1/3 cup of cheese on this. 

Start at the short end and tightly roll up the ground sirloin.  I use the waxed paper to nudge the roll over tightly. Push the end edge of paper against the bottom edge of the roll to help tighten the roll.  Lift the paper out of the way (the direction you are rolling), then repeat the rolling and pushing with the waxed paper.  If you have ever rolled up sushi, this is similar to the way that you use a mat to tighten a sushi roll. Cut the log into six pieces, and wrap the bacon around each.

I like to prep these ahead, put them on a broiler pan, and refrigerate them until dinner time.  Do remember to take them out of the refrigerator to warm back to room temperature before broiling.  I also add some water to the bottom of the pan before broiling to make clean up easier.

When ready to cook, broil the fillets for 6-8 minutes on each side.  I like to serve the Poor Boy Fillets with rice pilaf and bright vegetables. Watch for my upcoming posts for Lemon Rice Pilaf and Glazed Vegetables later this month.


  • 6 Slices Bacon or Turkey Bacon
  • 1 Pound Ground Sirloin
  • 1/4 – 1/3 Cup Shredded Swiss Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Green Olives, Chopped Fine

If using pork bacon, precook for about 3-4 minutes until bacon is still soft and pliable. (Some of the fat has cooked out, and there is a hint of brown.)  Of course, you can also use turkey bacon. If you want it crispy, precook the turkey bacon only for about 2 minutes.  If you are in the chewy bacon camp, you can skip this step for either type of bacon.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on countertop and pat the ground sirloin into rectangle on top. It should measure about 12″ by 8″.  Sprinkle olives and cheese evenly over ground sirloin.  Roll up tightly from short side, using paper to help keep roll snug.  Cut into 6 equal pieces.  Wrap one slice of turkey bacon around each piece; secure with toothpick if needed. Put the fillets on the broiler pan and broil, turning occasionally, until beef is cooked through and turkey bacon is crisp (about 12-15 minutes total).

Serves 3; 2 fillets per person.

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  1. Jovinacoughlin”Gmail.com

    This looks like a great dish. Looking forward to making it.

    • akcooker

      Thank you, Jovina!