BEEF OLIVES are a real comfort food according to Jamie Oliver. They were also a favourite decades ago with Sylvia Anderson, creator of Lady Penelope and Thunderbirds, according to her daughter Dee.
Sylvia was a dab hand in the kitchen when she was not creating her latest storyline or character, and Beef Olives was one of her specialities.
‘In those days’ Dee recalls, ‘it was quite unique as lamb chops or roasts were more standard in home cooking, but Sylvia, always the innovator, even pushed the boundaries of cooking and creativity. It sounds tame these days as the entire Nation is au fait with international cuisine, but back then it was quite a rarity’, and to Dee’s school friends it was deemed as quite ‘out there’.
400g of lean finely cut beef
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 medium onion
250ml red wine
600ml beef stock
For the Stuffing
1 small onion
3 rashers of smoked bacon
A pinch of thyme
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Preheat the oven to 180C. Fry the onions, garlic, mushrooms until soft. Add to the raw bacon and set aside.
Place the beef on a flat surface and beat with a rolling pin or food hammer until very thin (approx. 1cm thick). Spread each beef slice with the mustard. Fill with the prepared stuffing.
Cut the leek in half and blanche for 30 seconds in boiling water place into cold water so that the leek is stringy. Cut the leek in thin strips long ways.
Roll the beef slices over the stuffing and use the leek strings to secure the beef. Fry the beef on all sides until brown and place in an oven proof dish.
Fry the remaining onion, carrot and celery in a pan for 5 minutes. Add red wine and beef stock and stir. Pour over the beef olives and cook in the oven with a lid on for 3 hours.
Remove the beef olives from the dish and keep warm. Blend the remaining sauce until no lumps remain. Serve with root vegetables and mashed potatoes.
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