Beef Olives



For this popular dish the meat must be cut into slices like thin steaks so it can be rolled up round a stuffing. To serve 6 you will need 875 g-1 kg (-2 lb) stewing beef, such as topside, sliced into 12 large, thin slices, tomato purée to taste, a handful finely chopped fresh sage leaves, 3 chopped cloves garlic, 50 g (2 oz) can anchovies, drained and sliced, 75 ml (3 fl oz) dry red wine, 1 rounded tablespoon cornflour, 150 ml (¼ pint) soured cream and salt and black pepper.

  1. Lay the beef slices between 2 sheets of wet greaseproof paper and bash the slices with a rolling pin or meat mallet until very thin. Smear each slice generously with tomato purée, then pat on some chopped sage leaves, garlic and anchovies. Season well with black pepper. Roll up and secure each slice with a wooden cocktail stick. Lay in a flameproof casserole, pour over the wine and enough water to three-quarters cover the beef.

  2. Bung to the boil, then cover and cook in a preheated oven, 150°C, 300°F, Gas Mark 2 for 1¾–2½ hours until tender. Remove beef olives with a slotted spoon and keep warm in a low oven. Pour the cooking juices into a saucepan. Mix the cornflour with a little water until smooth, then stir into the juices. Bring to the boil for 3 minutes, stirring, constantly until thickened. Season, pour the sauce over the beef and top with soured cream.