Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Foolproof Beef Wellington

You know that one dish that never ceases to please just about everyone? Well, this is mine.  This is our Christmas dinner every year and also tends to crop up for other special occasions.  We do it for Christmas because with Paul being American we celebrate Thanksgiving and a full turkey dinner twice in a month is just too much for me!  This is a very traditional recipe with a beautiful mushroom and shallot duxelle and cheaters (store bought) puff pastry*.  Serve with some pan gravy, roast potatoes cooked in goose fat, some trimmed asparagus drizzled in lemon butter and roasted beetroot for an amazing luxurious (and easy, but no one will be able to tell) dinner!  Apologies for the poor photos, I only had my iPhone at the time.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-3lb beef or venison fillet, trimmed
  • 8oz cremini (chestnut) or wild mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • butter
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or brandy
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh parsley, finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 15 slices of prosciutto or serrano ham
  • 1 package of puff pastry*
  • Egg wash**
Heat a large skillet and add a glug of olive oil.  Season the trimmed fillet with salt and pepper and sear each side until browned, about a minute a side, longer if you want your finished fillet to be cooked more than medium rare.  Remove from heat, set aside. 

Add butter to skillet and allow to melt.  Add shallots and cook for a few minutes until softened.  Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has evaporated.  Add white wine and cook down until liquid is gone.  Stir in the garlic and herbs, cooking for a minute.  Remove from heat. 

Unroll a large piece of plastic wrap, thick enough to wrap around the fillet.  Lay out the prosciutto, slightly overlapping on the cling film.  Spread the mushroom duxelle over the prosciutto leaving about an inch at the edges. Coat the fillet with the dijon mustard. 

Place the fillet on top of the duxelle and prosciutto then use the plastic wrap to bring the prosciutto up and around the fillet. Roll the fillet up tight, twisting the plastic wrap at each end tightly to form an even cylinder. Pop in freezer while you prepare the pastry.

Roll out the pastry sheet so that it is large enough to enclose the fillet.  Brush the edges with egg wash and wrap fillet up sealing the edges.  Use any extra pastry to make a decorative topping for the wellington.  Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake for 25 minutes at 200C/400F for medium rare and 30 minutes for medium. Allow to stand for ten minutes before carving.  Enjoy!



* Aldi are doing a butter puff pastry in their chilled section now and I have to say it's very good and much better value than the branded stuff!

**1 egg plus a teaspoon of cold water

Linking up to: Recipe Sharing Monday,

27 comments:

  1. I absolutely love Beef Wellington! It's a holiday favorite for my family, too! Yours looks amazing! I am the newest follower on your blog and would love it if you'd follow me back! Thanks!

    Leslie ~

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  2. Hello- wanted to just stop by and say hi! I live in michigan and my hubby and I visited ireland lat year, great place!

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  3. I think my biggest fail when it comes to wellington is wrapping the puff pastry. It ends up thick in some places and breaking in others. How do you wrap yours?! How do you create the seam and where does it go when you're baking?

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  4. Hi Algebrina, I think the key is rolling it out first to a decent thickness, but thinner than the sheet initially came as. I put the seam on the bottom so if it does burst nothing shows.

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  5. This really look amazing! I want to try it. I would really like to know how many this will serve. Thanks!

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  6. Would serve at least 8, more if you have plenty of sides to fill them up. :)

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  7. Looks awsome I'm going to try this !!

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  8. NoOoOo cook longer plz! Way to rare for me.

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  9. Clearly you are an idiot who doesn't deserve such a cut of meat. Anyone cooking fillet well done should be shot.

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  10. Hey there.
    Anonymous> That's not very nice :(

    Debs> Sorry if I'm being Dense, but when I have bought puff pastry (unless I'm thinking of the wrong word) before, it was a roll of many thin sheets. almost paper thin like won ton wrappers. So, Do you just roll out all the sheets together and use them all as one thick sheet? or am I thinking of the wrong product?

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  11. Not very nice indeed lol, although I have to admit I kindof agree, spending the money on fillet and cooking it beyond medium seems a waste to me, but each to their own! :)

    Annie- it sounds like you bought phyllo pastry which is a different product altogether it's used a lot in Greek and middle eastern cooking. Puff pastry is quite thick and buttery and needs to be rolled a bit to cook right on this dish. Hope that helps! :)

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  12. Isn't there a sauce that goes on top? Tips on how or what kind of sauce I should make would be greatly appreciated. This is my first time cooking this and I want it to be perfect for my hubbs birthday dinner! Fyi, this picture looks amazing even with an IPhone!! Thank you!!

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    1. No sauce, could do a simple gravy if you wanted, but the duxelle layer keeps it lovely and moist. Sorry about delay, missed some comments, hope the birthday went well!

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  13. Another thing, so other recipes I've read say to put slits in the top of the puff pastry to let out steam, is this necessary? Is that just to make it look pretty?

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    1. It controls the design, without them the pastry might burst in a not so aesthetic area, at least this way you decide where they go! :)

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  14. Oh wow, Deborah! I've had it in mind to try this for some time and I'm definitely going to give it a whirl for a dinner party I have coming up soon, will blog and link back, can't wait to try : )

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    1. Look forward to hearing how it goes Jane! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  15. Just a heads up be prepared to throw down so dough... 35-40$ a pound for the filet not saying it won't be worth it just saying its it might be a spend meal.

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  16. This looks amazing, and I might try it someday. However, I've quit eating pork (after a friend of mine who works on a pig farm, has told me what really goes on there..), so I was wondering, would you have any ideas of an alternative for the 15 slices of prosciutto or serrano ham, or could it just be left out?

    I've never had Beef Wellington, so I can't imagine what (if anything) could be used instead of the ham..

    Cheers =)

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    1. Stella, you could just skip the prosciutto altogether. However I'd highly recommend looking into rarebreed locally grown pork. There's a lot of amazing free-range farmers out there who treat their pigs like princes and are very particular about how their lives are ended. I too would be wary of mass produced pork or meat in general!

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  17. The other traditional filling is pâté. I've done that and it's quite delicious. But I was wondering...do you use a blind or else how do you deal with the bottom crust not getting soggy?

    Thanks, Helene

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    1. Hi Helene,

      If you've sealed the meat properly this shouldn't be an issue.

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  18. What type of pan/dish do you cook it in? Hoping to make this a Christmas dinner tradition too!

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    1. Any roasting pan or tray is fine.

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    2. Thanks! One more question, how many does this serve?

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    3. 6-8 adults, depends on how many sides you do really! :)

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