Sicilian beef olives

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
6 larges Thin slices beef; measuring a good
\N \N ; 25x15cm
\N \N Salt and pepper
12 \N Thin slices mortadella
75 grams Pork fat; cut into strips
1 bunch Fresh parsley
75 grams Caciocavallo or Gruyere cheese; cut into thick (75
\N \N To 150)
\N \N ; batons
1 \N Onion; cut into 6 wedges
6 \N Hard-boiled eggs; shelled
4 tablespoons Olive oil
1 large Onion; chopped
900 millilitres Passata
3 tablespoons Tomato puree
2 teaspoons Sugar
2 \N Bay leaves
½ \N Head garlic; divided into
\N \N ; individual cloves
\N \N ; and peeled
6 \N Sprigs fresh basil
\N \N Salt and pepper


Lay the slices of beef out in pairs on the work surface, overlapping each pair by about 2.5cms along the wide edge to give 3'rectangles' roughly 25x28cm. Season with salt and pepper.

Now start building up the filling. Cover each rectangle with 4 pieces of mortadella. Lay the remaining ingredients in a band along one of the long sides, leaving a border of about 4cm. Begin with a line of pork fat, then snuggle 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley up against the fat. Next add a third of the cheese, a couple of wedges of onion and finally 2 of the hard-boiled eggs.

Now comes the tricky part. Starting from one of the long sides, roll up the beef around the filling, flipping the borders in to cover it as you go and keeping it all tight and compact. Quickly tie each roll up firmly with string, winding it round to hold everything together.

In a pan large enough to take all 3 rolls in a single layer, warm the olive oil from the sauce ingredients over a brisk heat. Brown the rolls all over in the oil, then take them out of the pan and reduce the heat. Cook the chopped onion gently in the same oil until translucent. Return the rolls to the pan along with the remaining sauce ingredients and add enough water to cover the meat. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, half cover and simmer very gently for 2-2 ½ hours. Stir occasionally, and make sure that the sauce is not catching or over-reducing. If necessary, add a little water to thin it down.

Once cooked, the richly flavoured tomato sauce is used to dress pasta, while the beef rolls are kept warm, moistened with just a spoonful or two of the sauce, and covered to prevent drying out. Just before serving, snip off the string and slice thickly.

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