Thursday 8 November 2012

Stuart Period Veal or Beef Olives (1660)

Beef or veal olives were furst made in Elizabethan times. They are slices of meat stuffed and then rolled so that they look rather like stuffed olives.

This recipe comes from Hannah Woolley's Stuart period book, the Queen-like Closet of 1660. Hannah Woolley being the first well know female food writer.

Original recipe:

To make Olives of Veal.

      Take thin ſlices of a Leg of Veal, and have ready ſome Suet finely ſhred, ſome Currans, beaten Spice, ſweet herbs, and hard yolks of Eggs, and a little ſalt mixed well together, then ſtrew it upon the inſides of your ſlices of Meat, and roul them up hard, and make them faſt with a ſcure, ſo ſpit them and roſte them, baſte them with Butter, and ſerve them in with Vinegar, Butter and Sugar.

Modern Redaction

Beef or Veal Olives Recipe


300g rosé veal or beef, cut into thin slices
60g shredded suet
100g currants
1/4 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground mace
4 tbsp sweet herbs, minced
6 hard-boiled egg yolks, mashed
salt, to taste
100g butter, melted

For the sauce
100g butter
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar


In a bowl, mix together the suet, currants, nutmeg, mace, herbs and egg yolks. Season with slat then spread this mixture over one side of each slice of meat.

Roll the meat slices up tightly and secure with toothpicks. Arrange in a roasting tin, drizzle over half the butter then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC and roast for about 20 minutes, basting with the remaining butter.

When the meat is nicely browned and cooked through remove from the oven, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, stir in the butter and cook until melted then whisk in the vinegar. Allow to heat through then arrange the meat on a serving dish, drizzle over the sauce and serve.

You can see the complete text of Hannah Woolley's Queen-like Closet on the Celtnet Queen-like Closet original text pages. This is part of the site's Stuart Recipes collection.

There are more traditional and historic recipes on the Traditional and Historic recipes page of this blog.

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