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Traditional Scottish beef olives recipes

This is a recipe for traditional beef olives. Despite their name, they have nothing at all to do with the vegetable (olive) of the same name. It is in fact a braised meat dish which has been popular in Scotland since the 1600's and combines topside of beef, wrapped round a "stuffing" mixture. there are a few variations on the contents of this stuffing with some people adding a little extra beef or pork to the mixture. Some recipes may even suggest using a quicker (and lazier) method of simply using sausagemeat to stuff the flattened beef.

Beef Olives

Ingredients:

  • 1 &1/2 lbs topside
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon
  • 3 onions (finely sliced)
  • 4 oz/110g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 oz/110g beef suet (shredded)
  • 1/2 tespoon mixed dried herbs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon mustard (Scottish if possible-if not French)
  • 3oz/85g seasoned flour
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 15fl oz stock (beef)
  • Seasoning

Method:
Preheat oven to 325F/160c/GM3. Finely chop the bacon and thin slice, then chop one of the onions.Mix with breadcrumbs, suet, parsley, herbs, beaten egg and half the lemon's grated zest & 1 tespoon of the lemon juice.

Cut the meat into 8 thin slices and beat out flat with a mallet (or rolling pin). Thinly spread the mustard over each piece and then the stuffing mixture(divided equally). Roll up the meat and secure into a tube shape. the tube should hold its shape but you could tie with butchers string or even use some form of cocktail stick to maintain shape(remembering to remove once part cooked and will hold shape) . Dust each of the "olives" with the seasoned flour, then heat the butter and shallow fry the "olives" until browned all over.

Set aside, keeping the juice for the next part. Stir the remaining flour into the meat juices to thicken then stirring frequently, add the stock bringing to the boil. Place the "tubes" into the casserole dish and cover with the onions. Cook this in the oven for 1hr 30 to 1hr 45 minutes. Remove all string before serving (they should keep their shape by now)

This dish should serve 4 people accompanied by a potato dish of your choice.



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As with all recipes which involve cooking and baking a sensible approach must be taken especially when dealing with warm or hot (temperature) ingredients. All recipes are tried at your own risk.

For US to UK equivalents for food weights and measurements see this rough guide