Beef Wellington - two recipes made with puff pastry.

beef-wellington
Beef Wellington is a classic British dish that was extremely popular in the 1970s and has seen somewhat of a revival in recent years. It is a majestic dish that you would bring out to show off at a dinner party or if you wanted to impress someone special, and therefore is not something that you can whisk up in minutes.

This dish requires a certain amount of time and care to prepare but is well worth the effort.

The origins of this dish are unclear. Some say that it was invented in France in the form of the classic "filet de boeuf en croûte"; others say that it was named after the first Duke of Wellington; whilst some even claim that it was created in Ireland.
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There are many variations to a classic beef Wellington but in essence, the dish consists of fillet steak that is coated with pâté and duxelles mushrooms, wrapped in puff pastry and baked in the oven. Whichever type of mushrooms you use for this recipe is your choice. Perhaps a mixture of chestnut, porcini and oyster mushrooms for example would enrich this recipe.

Various herbs and spices are also incorporated: mainly thyme and parsley, although others such as ginger and allspice can be used.

The beef, at its best, should be pink in the middle, and to prevent the pastry from turning soggy, the beef is often also wrapped in a pancake. However, more recently, chefs are substituting the pancake for Parma ham or pancetta for the same effect.

Below we offer you two varied recipes for this delicious beef in pastry recipe.

Beef Wellington recipe

Ingredients
  • 1kg (2.2lb) of trimmed beef fillet
  • finely chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • For the Duxelles
  • 500g (1.1lb) of chopped field mushrooms
  • 55g (2oz) of butter
  • 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp of chopped parsley
  • few drops of truffle oil
  • For the "Wellington"
  • 500g (1.1lb) of puff pastry
  • 1 beaten egg
  • melted butter
  • mustard
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Season the meat with the thyme, salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Sear the beef in a hot pan until the meat browns all over.
  5. Remove from the heat and cool.
  6. Simmer the mushrooms with the butter and garlic.
  7. Stir in the parsley and truffle oil and then season with salt and pepper.
  8. Set aside and cool.
  9. Roll out the pastry so that it will completely cover the beef.
  10. Spread the mustard over the meat.
  11. Spread the mushroom mixture over half the pastry and place the beef on top.
  12. Roll the pastry up and around the beef and seal the edges with the beaten egg.
  13. Brush the pastry with melted butter and leave to chill for 30 minutes.
  14. Place onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes.
  15. Serve with steamed broccoli or spinach or roasted vegetables.
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Filet de boeuf en croûte recipe

Ingredients
  • 900g (2lb) of fillet of beef
  • 340g (3/4lb) of puff pastry (See our recipe for puff pastry)
  • 30g (1oz) of pâté de foie gras
  • 15g (½oz) of unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • ½ tsp of ground thyme
  • For the mushroom sauce
  • 225g (8oz) of mushrooms, chopped
  • 300ml (½ pint) of chicken stock
  • 150ml (¼ pint) of milk
  • 30g (1oz) of unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 beaten egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp of Madeira
  • 1 tbsp of plain flour
  • salt and pepper
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F).
  2. Trim the fat from the beef fillet, roll it into a neat shape and tie with string.
  3. Melt the butter slightly and spread over the top of the beef.
  4. Place into a baking tray and cook in the oven for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Cut away the string when cold.
  6. Roll out the puff pastry to a thin oblong shape and so that it is three times the width of the fillet and the length plus 8 inches.
  7. Spread the pâté over the top of the beef.
  8. Place the beef into the centre of the pastry, pâté side down.
  9. Sprinkle the thyme over the beef.
  10. Fold the pastry over the meat, press down the sides and seal with water.
  11. Turn the pastry over, then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  12. In the meantime, prepare the mushroom sauce. Place the chopped onion and mushrooms into a saucepan.
  13. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  14. Turn the heat down to a simmer and continue to cook for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, and then pass through a blender. Set aside.
  16. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and stir to form a roux. Cook for 1 min, stirring continuously.
  17. Slowly pour in the milk, stirring all the while, until a sauce forms. Bring to the boil.
  18. Reduce the heat and simmer. Add the mushroom mixture and stir.
  19. Season with salt and pepper and add the Madeira.
  20. Simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes.
  21. Remove from the heat. The beaten egg yolk can be stirred in at the last minute before serving.
  22. Beat together the olive oil and the egg and brush over the pastry.
  23. Place the beef onto a baking tray and bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. The beef should be slightly pink in the centre.
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