In this traditional dish, stuffed beef slices are tied into the shape of oversize olives. Olives are a Mediterranean symbol of blessings and peace, which may be why this dish is shaped to look like them. Ask your butcher to slice the meat thinly, then pound it to about 1⁄16".
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 6 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1⁄2 lb. ground beef or pork, or a combination of the two
- Leaves from 3 sprigs each flat-leaf parsley and marjoram, chopped
- 2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 very thin slices top round steak, about 4" × 8" each
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup bread crumbs (optional)
Cook half the onions and half the garlic in 4 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over low-medium heat for 15 minutes. Add meat, parsley, and marjoram, and cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in eggs, season to taste, and mix well.
Place about 1⁄4 cup filling in the center of each piece of steak. Roll lengthwise, tucking in sides as you go. Tie each roll securely with kitchen string.
Heat remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown rolls on all sides. Add remaining onions and garlic, wine, tomatoes, and, if using, bread crumbs. Lower heat and simmer covered till meat is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer meat to a platter; cook sauce until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour sauce over meat and serve.