The stuffing for the beef olives is made from the same base as for the Jambonette de Volaille, using onions, mushrooms, garlic and herbs. The black pudding works very well in the recipe, and can be broken down with a wooden spoon if mincing is impossible. The beef olives can be served plain or some garnish can be added. I’ve chosen the button onions, mushrooms and bacon to give extra flavours and texture to the dish.

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Ingredients

  • 700 g ( lb) lean beef topside or rump
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 225 g (8 oz) pig’s caul, soaked in cold water for 24 hours (optional, see method)
  • 1.2 litres (2 pints) Red Wine Sauce or Veal jus
  • 50 g (2 oz) beef dripping

For the Stuffing

  • 225 g (8 oz) black pudding, skinned and minced
  • 1 chicken breast, minced or finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A few fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 175 g (6 oz) button mushrooms, minced and cooked until dry

For the Garnish

  • 100 g (4 oz) button onions
  • 100 g (4 oz) unsalted butter
  • 100 g (4 oz) bacon, rinded and diced
  • 100 g (4 oz) button mushrooms
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Method

To make the stuffing, mix together the black pudding and chicken breast, season with salt and pepper and add the egg. Fry the chopped onions, garlic and herbs in the butter until softened, then allow to cool. Cook the mushrooms in a separate pan until dry then leave to cool. When cold, mix all the ingredients and beat together well. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut the meat into eight thin slices and sit each slice between two sheets of cling film. These can now be batted with a rolling pin to stretch the meat. Divide the filling between the slices then roll them up, folding in the sides to form a cylindrical beef olive shape. Wrap them individually in the pig’s caul, if using, to keep the shape of the meat, or pierce and hold them in shape with cocktail sticks.

Start to warm the red wine sauce or jus in a large, lidded braising pan, making sure the sauce is not too thick; when the olives are slowly cooking in the sauce, it will thicken.

Fry the beef olives in the dripping for a few minutes until well coloured on all sides. Drain off any excess fat and sit the beef olives in the red wine sauce or gravy. Bring to the simmer and cook gently for about 1½ hours. Check the meat: it should start to feel soft and give when pinched. Simmer for a further 30 minutes, then the olives will be tender and ready.

Drain the sauce into a pan and re-boil, skimming off any excess fat or impurities if necessary. Return the beef olives to the sauce to warm through.

To make the garnish, fry the onions in butter until soft and golden brown. Remove from the pan and add the bacon and mushrooms. These can be fried together on top of the stove until the bacon is brown and crispy. Add the garnishes to the sauce.

To serve, remove the cocktail sticks, if using, from the beef olives, and serve the olives into hot bowls, allowing two per portion. Spoon the garnish and sauce over and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

Overleaf

Four classic dishes: top left, Steak and Kidney Pudding, top right, Irish Stew, below left, Beef Stew and Dumplings and below right, Home-made Lamb Pasties.

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