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Beef olives with an Oriental twist
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 20 - 06 - 2019


Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
12-15 young beef lean fillets (thinly sliced and gently pound)
1 onion (finely chopped)
5-6 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
1 cup grated carrot
1 stalk celery (sliced)
50 ml dry red wine
1 ripe tomato (flesh grated)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 chicken bouillon cube
Pepper + herbes de Provençe + touch of grated nutmeg + cinnamon wooden stick + 2 or 3 bay leaves
2 tbsp ghee

Stuffing:
Dijon mustard
Pastrami (thinly sliced)
1 cup mixture of grated mozzarella and grated yellow cheese
Method:
Smear each fillet lightly with a touch of Dijon mustard. Line across the shorter side of each fillet and down to the opposite end; one thin slice of Pastrami, then an amount of cheese mixture. Roll edge of shorter side over cheese stuffing; until the end of the shorter side. Secure with a toothpick. Leave aside in an empty plate. Continue with the rest of quantities; until all fillet pieces are stuffed and secured.

Method:
Heat a wide non-stick skillet on high. Gently add prepared fillets; secured end downwards. Sear stuffed fillets; turning them gently on all sides; to brown. By means of a pair of tongs; remove them on to a plate. Lower heat to medium. Add ghee, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Stir in onion to caramelise. Stir in seasoning until aromatic. Add garlic. Stir to mix. Add carrot and celery. Stir in tomato and sugar. Bring to a boil. When tomato thickens; add wine. Bring back to a boil. Return beef olives to skillet. Add bouillon cube to dissolve in sauce. Cover skillet and allow to cook; over low heat; for approximately 45-60 minutes; according to the doneness you desire. Add molasses; a couple of minutes only prior to doneness. Remove beef olives on to a wide plate. Remove tooth picks. Transfer to the serving plate. Serve beef olives with sauce on top and buttered mashed potatoes aside.
N.B.: You can substitute Pastrami with any other cold cut; but in that case add finely chopped pickled cucumber to the stuffing; to give it the zesty kick.


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