Beef, Olive and Red Onion Canapés

These delicious Mediterranean-inspired appetisers take time to prepare but are worth the effort and can be made well in advance

  • 225g lean stewing or braising steak such as boneless shin, feather or chuck steak, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper
  • 2 tsps sunflower oil
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 25g smoked back bacon or pancetta cubes, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsps sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1/4 pint red wine or good, hot beef stock
  • 1 x 227g can chopped tomatoes
  • 15-25g black or green olives, roughly chopped
  • 200g filo pastry sheets, thawed if frozen
  • 50g butter, melted
  • Fresh small oregano leaves, to garnish
  • To make the filling, place the beef in a large bowl, season, add the dried oregano and mix well.
  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and cook the beef for 4-5 minutes turning occasionally until brown.
  • Add the onion, bacon or pancetta and garlic to the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is soft but not brown. Add the tomato paste, wine or stock, chopped tomatoes and olives. Spoon into a small casserole dish and bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas Mark 4. To prepare the filo pastry, brush the filo sheets with the melted butter and with a sharp knife cut into 60 x 6cm/ 2inch squares. Lightly grease 2 mini muffin tins and line each hole with three buttered filo squares, placing each one at a slightly different angle and gently press down.
  • Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove the tins from the oven and gently transfer the canapés to a metal cooling rack and set aside. Place the canapés on a serving platter, spoon about 2 teaspoons of the filling into each, garnish with the fresh oregano and serve immediately.
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