About this recipe:Lean slices of beef are wrapped round a mushroom stuffing to make rolls, which are then braised gently with vegetables. This updated version of a traditional recipe makes an easy and impressive dish to prepare ahead, so is ideal for entertaining.
500g beef topside, cut into 8 very thin slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coarsely crushed black peppercorns
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
400g new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 5mm thick slices
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
600g ripe tomatoes, chopped
300ml beef stock
4 tbsp dry sherry
1 bay leaf
15g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
25g fine fresh breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp dried thyme
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
TO GARNISH chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
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For the stuffing, put the dried porcini mushrooms in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes or until soft. Drain and finely chop the mushrooms, then set aside.
Heat the 2 tbsp of oil for the stuffing in a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 5–8 minutes, until golden brown. Add the chestnut mushrooms and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the chopped porcini mushrooms and the remaining stuffing ingredients. Season to taste, then set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, lay the beef slices between sheets of greaseproof paper or cling film and bash out as thinly as possible using a rolling pin. Place side by side on a board. Divide the stuffing equally among them, then roll up each slice around the stuffing and secure in place with wooden cocktail sticks. Lightly brush the beef olives all over with a little olive oil, then roll them in the crushed peppercorns on a plate. Wipe out the pan.
Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan, add the beef olives and fry them on a moderate heat to brown them all over. Remove from the pan using a draining spoon and set aside.
Add the onion and celery to the oil remaining in the pan and gently cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the potatoes, carrots and tomatoes and stir around for a couple of minutes, then return the beef olives to the pan. (If your frying pan is not big enough, transfer the vegetables and beef olives to a large flameproof casserole.)
Pour in the beef stock and sherry and add the bay leaf. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20–25 minutes until the meat and vegetables are tender.
Lift out the beef olives using a draining spoon and keep warm. Boil the liquid in the pan on a high heat to reduce to the desired consistency. Season to taste. Put the beef olives back into the pan and serve sprinkled with parsley.
To prepare in advance, follow the recipe to step 5, and chill the casserole for up to a day in the fridge. Then continue from step 6, allowing 5 minutes extra time.