Italian braised beef olives with parmesan crumb
- 4 x Scotch Beef Olives
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 200g passata (any type you like)
- 25g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 10g parmesan, grated
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
If you have never been tempted by a beef olive, then now is the time. Our beef olives are made from the finest Scotch beef wrapped around our beef sausage meat and are as delicious as they are economical. Savoury, savoury, savoury is the best way to describe it. But what do you do with a beef olive once you've got it home? That's easy, you drape it in rich Italian flavours and bake it in the oven. Then, to take it from frumpy to fabulous, you add a layer of fresh breadcrumbs with herbs and parmesan and bake it a little bit more. Add something green and glass of red and you've got bistro food on the table to the sound of thunderous applause.
1. If you can, bring the meat to room temperature before cooking; this is helpful, but not as essential as it is with cooking, say, a steak. Cold beef olives will simply take longer to cook through.
2. Pre-heat your oven to 180C/Gas 4 and make sure there is a shelf in the middle.
3. Heat a small frying pan over a medium setting and, once hot, add the olive oil. Place the beef olives in the pan and brown them on all sides. This should take no more than a few minutes. Don't be misled that this performance seals in goodness or juices; it doesn’t, it simply adds depth of flavour to your dish.
4. Remove the beef olives to a shallow baking dish. Choose one that is the right size; too big and the food will dry out, too small and it will take forever to cook. Ensuring you use the right equipment for the job is an essential part of effortless cooking.
5. In the same frying pan, add the onions with a pinch of sea salt. If you are still using ordinary table salt, make the switch to a flaked sea salt such as Maldon; it makes a huge difference to your food. The cost is negligible as you will use less and the benefits in flavour are tenfold.
6. Turn the heat down, and stir the onions until they soften and begin to brown. Add the garlic, with the thyme sprigs, and stir for about 30 seconds. Why? Because garlic burns easily and when it burns it tastes bitter and ruins the dish; and we mean ruins, you cannot hide the flavour of burnt garlic.
7. Tip the onions over the meat, and pour the passata straight from the jar or pack over the top. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about half an hour, just until the sausage is cooked through. The best way to check if you are unsure is to slice through the meat and see that there is no uncooked centre.
8. Whilst the meat cooks, mix together the parsley, Parmesan and crumb. If you want to be super organised then clean down, wash the pots, and set the table. (Or get someone else to do it)
9. Finally, whack the oven up to 200/Gas 6, scatter your crumb mix over the top and bake, uncovered, for about 5 minutes until the top is browned.
10. Serve with a green vegetable (we used Tenderstem broccoli with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous grind of black pepper) or a big green salad. We have already touched on the importance of decent salt, so we will save the black pepper lecture for another day.
Nutrition (per serving): 507 calories, 332 calories from fat, 36.9g total fat, 86.4mg cholesterol, 1227.8mg sodium, 683.4mg potassium, 20.6g carbohydrates, 3.5g fibre, 7.7g sugar, 23.8g protein.PRINT RECIPE