Beef olives, in a nutshell, are flattened cuts of beef, rolled with a filling and secured with toothpicks. Olives, also known as rouladen, originated in Germany and was first prepared using veal and pork. Popular fillings include finely chopped mushroom with herbs, sausage meat and vegetables. Often mustard is added for extra flavour. The olives are usually first browned in a little oil before liquid – stock, water or wine – is added to the pan and the olives are gently cooked by means of braising. The sauce thickens as the meat cooks, but can also be thickened using corn flour or other methods.
Today it is popular to prepare olives using beef and it can also be purchased at many delis and butcheries of supermarkets. It’s really so simple to prepare beef olives that there’s no need to purchase it. Rather make it yourself.
I made a filling of sun-dried tomato, blue cheese and basil. Pine kernels add a deep and rich nutty flavour to the filling and the over-all combination of these ingredients lend a Mediterranean essence to the final dish. I prepared a light parsley and Parmesan risotto to serve with the beef olives, but roast potatoes or even sweet potato mash will be excellent accompaniments.