Beef Olives

This is a great comfort food recipe for the winter months. It might sound a bit fiddly but really it’s quick to prepare and you can leave it in the oven for a long, slow cook while you go and do something more interesting. It’s also a good stress reliever as it involves some bashing with a heavy object! To make 4 parcels you will need:-

4 slices of decent quality steak
300ml beef stock
300ml red wine
150g smoked bacon lardons or pancetta cubes
150g pork mince
2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2tbsp fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs
1 onion, roughly chopped
Baby carrots (as many as you like)
A little oil, or beef dripping, for shallow frying

You will also need some string, or wooden skewers, to hold the parcels together while they are cooking

  • Pre-heat your oven to 170C/Gas 3
  • You need the steaks to be about 1cm thick and big enough to roll into parcels around the filling, so put them between sheets of clingfilm and bash them with a meat tenderiser or whatever alternative heavy object is available (my cast-iron pans, for example, do the job well!)
  • Mix the lardons, mince, shallots, garlic, basil and breadcrumbs together in a large bowl
  • Shape the mixture into 4 sausages
  • Place 1 of the sausages onto each piece of steak and roll up into parcels
  • Secure the parcels with string (I recommend both lengthways and widthways) or use wooden skewers to hold them together
  • Heat the oil or dripping in an ovenproof pot and brown the parcels on all sides
  • Add the roughly chopped onion and the carrots to the pot and fry until coloured
  • Add the beef stock and red wine to the pot then place in the oven to cook for 2½ to 3 hours, until really tender
  • Remove the string or skewers before serving

I like to serve these with mash, but of course it’s up to you.