Pork olives

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Meat mains

Pork olives

Starter Serves 4 1h
Pork leg steaks make great involtini. We call them olives, the Italians call them involtini and the Americans and Australians call them braciole. Surprisingly easy, cheap and utilitarian, but flashy at the same time, they can be crumbed and baked, cooked in a sauce (normally tomato) or part cooked in the oven and finished on the barbecue.


  • 4 pork steaks
  • 4 slices stale bread (two for the stuffing and two for crumbing)
  • 100g lardons
  • 1 large onion, very finely chopped
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 100g Pecorino, finely grated
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 6 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4. Prepare the pork. Cut each steak in half and using a rolling pin, flatten into thin rectangular escalopes, big enough to wrap 1 tablespoon of stuffing. Don't get too enthusiastic or the escalopes will just fall apart – you want them as thin as possible but still in one piece.
  • Step 2

    Blitz the bread into breadcrumbs and tip half into a mixing bowl. Keep the remaining crumbs aside for later. In a small frying pan, heat a spoon of olive oil and sauté the bacon and chopped onion for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and tip into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the sage and cheese, mix well and season.
  • Step 3

    Gradually add enough olive oil so that the mixture holds together well, allowing you to shape it (a bit like making pastry). Put 1 tablespoon of mixture at the end of a pork escalope. Carefully roll up, folding in the sides as you go to completely seal, to stop the filling escaping when cooking. Repeat with the remaining seven escalopes.
  • Step 4

    Place four rolls side by side, alternating with onion wedges and bay leaves and stick a couple of wooden kebab sticks through, about 3cm apart, so they are reasonably secure and won't flop around when you turn them over. Repeat with the other four involtini.
  • Step 5

    Put your two kebabs on a plate, brush with olive oil and cover with breadcrumbs. Press the crumbs in with your fingers, turn over and repeat. Place on a baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until they have a good colour. Turn half way through cooking.

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