Thursday, July 17, 2008

Beef Wellington

I stole this recipe from Michelle Bearryman, who deserves better, but then I’m a totally unprincipled cad when it comes to a good recipe. It’s an interesting and totally delicious variation on a ‘traditional’ Beef Wellington, adding a touch of creaminess and lightness rather than the old fashioned heavy, red flavours. Give it a whirl!

  • 675g fillet steak
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 350g puff pastry, thawed if frozen
  • 1 egg, beaten

Parsley pancakes
  • 50g plain flour
  • Pinch salt
  • 150ml of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Mushroom Pate
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 local red onion, chopped
  • 450g of assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 8 tbsp double cream
  • 2 egg yolks

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/GM7. Season the fillet with plenty of pepper, some salt and perhaps a quick scattering of brandy. Heat the oil in a roasting tin, add the steak and quickly sear to brown all sides.

Transfer the fillet to the oven and roast for 20 minutes – you can give it 25 minutes if you’re keen on well done steak. Set aside to cool.

For the pancakes, beat the flour, salt, half the milk, the egg and parsley together until the mixture’s smooth, then stir in the remaining milk. Heat a greased, non-stick pan and pour in enough batter to coat the bottom. When set, turn over and cook the other side briefly until lightly browned. Continue with remaining batter - the recipe makes three or flour.

Fry the shallots or onion in butter to soften without colouring. Add the mushrooms and cook until their juices begin to run. Increase the heat and cook briskly so that the juices evaporate. Combine the breadcrumbs with the cream and egg yolks. When the mushroom are quite dry, add the bread and cream mixture and blend to make a smooth paste. Allow to cool.

Now roll out the pastry and cut into a rectangle around 36x30cm. Place two of the pancakes on the pastry and spread with mushroom pate. Place the beef on top and spread over any remaining pate, then cover with the remaining pancakes. Cut out four squares from the corners of the pastry, moisten the pastry edges with egg and then wrap them over the meat. Use the reserved pastry trimmings to decorate the top.

When you’re ready to finish the Wellington, turn the oven to 190C/375F/Gas5. Brush the pastry with beaten egg. Cook the Wellington for about 30-35 minutes until it’s golden brown.