Recipe: Beef Wellington (special occasion!)

Here comes the mother ship.

A decadent, splurge that sums up everything your mouth needs to know about quality food with depth of flavour. A classic in every sense, the Beef Wellington is a weekend dish that is worth the effort. Spoil your loved one following a week in the fast lane by preparing this beauty for a Saturday night, you can then have the most unbelievable roast dinner on Sunday with what’s left.

My Beef Welly is unique because it uses black pudding to bring the whole thing to another dimension, I highly recommend you trying it, however, you can omit it from the recipe if black pudding isn’t your thing.

(Serves 2-4)

Ingredients

600-800g piece of centre cut Fillet of Beef (butcher or supermarket fresh counter)
320g all butter puff pastry
1 Tbsp English mustard
500g chestnut mushrooms or white cup mushrooms
150g black pudding (optional)
Few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
1 Tbsp truffle oil (optional, but highly recommended)
3 ready made crepes (Waitrose desserts section have good ones)
3 egg yolks (whisked with a splash of water)
Olive oil
Flaky sea salt

Method

For the beef, heat a large heavy based frying pan until smoking hot and add 2 tbsp olive oil, season the whole fillet really generously with salt and plenty of black pepper. Add the fillet to the pan and sear it on all sides for a couple of minutes each but for no longer than around 8 minutes in total. You want an even colour around the beef to seal the whole fillet, but you don’t want to risk cooking it further. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool, brush the beef all over with the mustard and prepare the mushrooms.

To make the mushroom duxelle (which is the all important paste that coats the beef), grab a food processor. Take all of the mushrooms and check them for dirt, clean them with a damp cloth where necessary, then put them all into the food processor. Crumble in the black pudding, the thyme, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Blitz the mixture to a fine crumb, then, tip into a clean dry frying pan. Turn on the heat and allow the mixture to cook, stirring every 3-4 minutes. The mushrooms will release water and eventually you will end up with a dry paste which is spreadable and will be around a quarter of the of the original ingredient volume. Mix in the truffle oil.

A this stage we need to build. Lay the crepes onto a large area of cling film, spread the duxelle all over the crepes and then using the cling film fold the pastry over and then wrap the ends, trim the excess with scissors and squeeze both ends of the cling film until you have rolled the parcel tightly like a Christmas cracker into a cylinder. Place in the fridge for 3o minutes to set.

After 3o minutes, place the pastry onto a floured work surface and roll to around the thickness of a one pound coin if required (pre-rolled puff pastry will be about this thickness anyway). Brush the pastry with the eggwash, unwrap the fillet and place in the centre, wrap the wellington and roll it over, then, pull up the pastry ends before trimming any excess. Eggwash the pastry all over, score lightly and season with flaky sea salt.

To cook the Wellington, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c. Heat a flat roasting tray and when hot add the beef (this will prevent a soggy bottom) and roast for 35 minutes for medium beef. When cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

To serve, slice the wellington into thick slices (at least an inch and a half) so that it all holds together. Serve with Braised Lettuce and Red Wine Sauce.

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