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Olives of Beef
Marged Tylluan Fach

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Original Recipe

To Roast Olives of Veal

Gervase Markham, The English Housewife
You shall take a leg of veal and cut the flesh from the bones, and cut it into long thin slices; then take sweet herbs and the white parts of scallions, and chop them well together with the yolks of eggs; then roll it up within the slices of veal, and so spit them and roast them; then boil verjuice, butter, sugar, cinnamon, currants and sweet herbs together and, being seasoned with a little salt serve the olives up upon that sauce with salt cast over them.


Preparation Steps

Redaction for serving as a 1-bite tid-bit:
    Take a thin slice of beef (round is good), and pound it to tenderize (the meat must be very tender).

    Mash together approximately half a dozen hard boiled egg yolks, finely minced scallions (I use the entire scallion), and sweet herbs of choice (I use the Fines Herbes mixture from the bulk herb section at Whole Foods). Do not be shy with the herbs, the taste needs to come through clearly.  Smear this thinly on the pounded steak.

    Slice in strips about 1" wide and 3" or 4" long.

    Roll up the slices, stab them with a toothpick and arrange on a broiling pan. Broil, watching very carefully and turning once, until the meat is nicely browned.

    Bring the sauce made of 3 parts wine, 1 part vinegar (total about 2 cups or so), about1 Tablespoon of sugar, a scant teaspoon of cinnamon (more or less according to taste), about 1 cup of currants and 1 to 3 Tablespoons of sweet herbs of choice to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the currants are soft. The sauce will get "ropy" from the cinnamon. Immediately before serving, swirl in approximately 1 Tablespoon of butter.

    Pour sauce into the top of a chafing dish, arrange meat over/in the sauce. If you wish, drizzle a little sauce over the top of the meat for looks. 

Redaction Notes

Markham does not specify whether the yolks are cooked. I originally prepared these with cooked yolks because I was transporting them before broiling.

The sweet herbs are a matter of choice. One could use a single herb (thyme, rosemary, parsley, whatever), or a blend. The herbs should be plentiful.

Spread filling thinly so when the meat is rolled it doesn't smoosh out the sides and scorch.

When prepared as a single serving, slice the pounded beef about 3" wide by about 6" long or so. These can be cooked on the barbeque, but do not put them directly over the coals.


  • Markham, Gervase.  The English House, Michael R Best, ed.  1986, McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, Canada. ISBN 0-7735-1103-2.

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