Celtic flavours

From Cornish pasties, to traditional Burns Night fare

Beef olives – a mouthwatering combination of thinly sliced beef, wrapped around a flavoursome meaty stuffing – have been enjoyed in Scotland since the 1600s, and make the perfect Scottish dish for Burns Night. Try Donald Russell's delicious recipe – best served with a generous helping of ‘chappit tatties’ (mashed potatoes).

Is pastry more your thing? Try Riverford Organics' cheesy twist on the traditional Cornish pasty.

Beef olives in vegetable sauce

Serves 4–8

Beef olives


  • 8 beef olives
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 4 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 200ml red wine, eg Burgundy
  • 600-800ml beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas 3. Allow the beef olives to come to room temperature, pat dry with kitchen paper, and coat lightly in flour, tapping off any excess.

Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof casserole dish and sear the meat on all sides until browned. Remove from the dish and set aside. 

Using the same pan, add the garlic, onion, carrot and celery and braise for 4 to 5 minutes over a medium heat. Add the wine and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add 600ml of the stock, the bay leaves and the seared meat and bring to the boil. Cover the dish and place in the oven for 2 to 2½ hours or until the beef olives are tender.

Check the beef olives every 30 to 40 minutes and top up with the remaining stock if required.

Remove the casserole from the oven and reduce the sauce to a smooth consistency.  To serve, dot with butter and sprinkle with parsley.

Member savings

Save £3 on beef olives with Donald Russell – buy now

Virgin Wines recommends the rich, fruity and oaky Castillo de Anna Gran Reserva 2005, which matches the meaty flavours in this dish fantastically. This wine is also available in the Virgin Wines Discovery Club Premium Mixed Welcome Case – AA members save 40%.

Root vegetable and blue cheese pasties

Makes eight pasties

Root vegetable and blue cheese pasties


  • 500g plain flour
  • 250g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 6-8 tbsp cold water
  • 200g swede, peeled and diced
  • 100g carrot, peeled and diced
  • 100g parsnip or celeriac, peeled and diced
  • 100g onion, diced
  • 150g stilton or other blue cheese, crumbled
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten

Put the flour, butter and 1 tsp salt into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolks and pulse to combine – don’t over-mix. Gradually add the water. Stop pulsing the moment it looks as if it’s starting to come together.

Transfer the pastry dough to your work surface or a bowl and form into a ball – press it together rather than kneading it. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes – ideally for an hour or two.

In a large bowl, mix the filling ingredients together, seasoning well, particularly with pepper. On a lightly floured work surface, split the pastry into eight smaller pieces and roll out each piece into a circle approximately 17 to 18cm in diameter – use a bowl as a template to cut around if you
need to.

Divide the filling mixture and spoon onto each circle of pastry. Fold up the sides and press together, crimping as you go. If the pastry splits slightly, simply press it back together or patch it with a small off-cut.

Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment (not greaseproof paper). Bake at 170°C for 45 to 50 minutes until golden.

Member savings

A light red wine matches the strong flavours in this dish perfectly. Virgin Wines recommends the Domaine Andre Brunel Vin de Pays de Vaucluse 2011, available in the Discovery Club Luxury Mixed Welcome Case – AA members save 40%.

Place a regular order with Riverford Organics and receive a free Riverford Farm cookbook, worth £16.99.

Full details

(24 October 2013)