Classic Beef Wellington
18/09/14 20:36 Filed in: British - Main
I was asked to make the main course at a family gathering for 10.
What to cook? What to cook?
I decided it had to be a bit of a show stopper - but without insane effort - after all this was a gathering and I did not want to be isolated in the kitchen.
Beef Wellington is not a recipe to rush however and I would set aside a good 3-4 hours to do the dish justice.
The bulk of the effort is making the Duxelle filling. Once made, it is just the case of rolling up the fillet of beef and cooking it in the oven. Traditionally, Beef Wellington has crepes between the pastry and the meat. However, I find this makes the dish stodgy and instead prefer to use a layer of fresh spinach leaves.
Cooking for 10, I was privileged to be given a whole fillet of beef. I was planning on cooking the whole fillet as one - but realised quickly that it would not fit in the oven!
I have to say I was nervous that I would over cook the beef and ruin it. However, I should not have feared - my trusty meat thermometer came to the rescue and enabled me to get the meat perfect.
I strongly advise that you use a thermometer as you cannot touch the beef to determine if it is done.
for the Duxelle filling : [serves 10]
600 g of mushrooms, finely diced
200 g dried Porcini mushrooms
250 ml of boiling water
2 handfuls of fresh thyme
5 cloves of garlic, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp Madeira wine
salt and pepper to taste
for the Beef Wellington : [serves 10]
1 fillet of beef
1 ball of cooking string
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp olive oil
handful of thyme, leaves removed from the stems
4 packets of all butter puff pastry
2 packets of thinly sliced Proscuito
1 bag of Spinach, stems removed
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
for the Duxelle filling :
1) Steep the Porcini mushrooms in the boiling water. Set aside for 30 minutes to rehydrate.
2) Meanwhile, chop the mushrooms to a very fine dice. I had to do this in stages, as I had three packets of mushrooms to dice!
3) Once hydrated, drain the Porcinis, saving the liquor. Dice the Porcini to the same size as the fresh mushrooms.
4) Place a large heavy based frying pan on a medium heat.
5) Add the butter, oil, garlic, onion, thyme, diced mushrooms and Porcinis.
6) Saute the mushrooms, until they begin to soften.
7) Add half the reserved mushroom liquor, and continue to cook until the mixture is almost completely dry (This will take 10 - 15 minutes of slow cooking).
8) Raise the heat to high and add the Madeira.
9) Flambé off the alcohol, and continue to cook until the mixture is dry.
10) Taste the Duxelle, and adjust the seasoning to taste.
11) Place in a dish, cling film, and leave to cool in the fridge.
for the Beef Wellington :
1) Place a large frying pan on a high heat, and leave the pan to get as hot as possible.
2) Trim any fat from the fillet of beef. Tie up the tenderloins so that the fillet remains intact whilst searing.
3) Generously rub olive oil all over the fillet. Season well with salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
3) Once the frying pan is up to heat, add the oil.
4) When you see the oil shimmering, add the beef fillets, one at a time, and brown all over, including the ends.
5) Remove the beef fillet from the pan and set aside to cool completely. Once cool to the touch, remove the string - its job is done.
6) Place a large piece of cling film on a work surface.
7) Overlap pieces of Proscuito on top of the cling film, to make a rectangle large enough to envelop the fillet.
8) Using a spatula, add the Duxelle, making a thin even layer across the Proscuito.
9) Sprinkle the thyme leaves over the top of Duxelle.
10) Smear the cooled beef fillet generously with the Dijon Mustard. (I smeared the base first, then placed the fillet on top of the Duxelle before covering the top with mustard).
11) Using the cling film, roll the beef into a cylinder shape. Tuck in the ends, and add any Duxelle that may have escaped (see photos).
12) Using the cling film continue to roll and tighten the cylinder until it is firm and has a good round shape.
13) Place back in the fridge to firm up.
14) On a well floured work surface, place two pieces of puff pastry. Generously egg wash an inch of one sheet of puff pastry, and then affix the second piece on top. (You will not have to do this if you are cooking a small fillet).
15) Layer the puff pastry with spinach leaves.
16) Place the beef fillet on top of the spinach and pastry.
17) Generously egg wash all over the edges of the pastry.
18) Roll the Wellington towards you until sealed in the pasty, and trim off the excess.
19) Trim off excess pastry from the ends, leaving enough to fold under. Egg wash the ends and tuck under to make a neat parcel.
20) Place the Wellington back in the fridge to firm up, and remove when ready to cook.
21) Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6.
22) When ready to cook, generously egg wash the Wellingtons all over.
23) Make three slashes into the pastry to allow the steam to escape and keep the pastry crisp.
24) Sprinkle over the crushed chilli flakes, salt and pepper.
25) Place in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes (it is hard to estimate the time, as it will depend on the size of the fillet).
26) Remove the Wellingtons, when the internal temperature shows 48 degrees C.
27) Allow to rest for 10 minutes, before serving. I served the Wellington;s with some boiled new potatoes and steamed seasonal vegetables.
Rehydrate the Porcini Mushrooms for 30 minutes
Dice the mushrooms
And keep on dicing the mushrooms
Wow, and more dicing; if only I had a food processor in this borrowed kitchen
Phew, now dice the onion
Prepare the garlic
Finely dice the garlic
Get a good knob of butter
Fry the Duxelle
Dice the rehydrated Poricinis
Add the Porcinis mushrooms to the mix
Add half the Porcini liquor
Reduce the liquid to almost dry
Once dry, add the Madeira and flambé
Prepare the fillet of beef, removing any excess fat
Lay out the Proscuito on the cling film and level the cooled Duxelle
Remove the Thyme from the stem
Sprinkle over the thyme leaves
Tie the fillets to hold the tenderloin together when searing
Rub all over with olive oil
Season the fillets all over
Sear in a hot pan
Brown all over
Set the fillets aside to cool
Place the fillet on Duxelle
Rub the top of the fillet with Dijon mustard
Wrap the Proscuito around the fillet
Tuck in the ends
Pat the extra Duxelle into the ends
Roll the fillet
Use the cling film to roll the fillet
Make a tight cylinder
Twist tightly to make a Beef Wellington cracker!
Set aside to cool
Roll out the puff pastry. You may need to join two pieces if cooking a large fillet
Cover with destemmed spinach
Unwrap the cooled wellington
Place on the pastry
Roll the puff pastry over the fillet tightly
Tuck under the ends
Beef Wellingtons ready for the oven
Slash the tops to allow the steam to escape
Decorate the Wellingtons if you wish
Egg wash liberally and sprinkle over the salt and pepper and chilli flakes
Ready for the oven
Beef Wellingtons straight from the oven. Check the temperature with a meat thermometer
Serve a generous slice
Another shot, served with steamed vegetables