Beef wellington

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation time: 55 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 500g/1lb beef fillet

  • 500g/1lb mushrooms
  • 400g/14oz puff pastry

  • 8 slices of Parma ham

  • Dijon mustard for brushing beef fillet

  • Egg wash
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Beef wellington

Beef Wellington is an impressive dish, and although it is quite an expensive one to prepare – it's well worth the extra effort and expense! It makes a truely beautiful centrepiece to a dining table and the flavours combine beautifully.

The quality of the beef used is important, as the cooking time is not lengthy, so the less tender cuts of beef do not have time to soften – so if you are making this, go all in and use a good quality beef fillet. If possible, try to pick a short, stocky fillet as it's easier to cover and looks better! To avoid a little further work, I used a ready-made puff pastry and truth be told, it's usually far better than my own efforts!

If you do not have – or don't want to use – Parma ham, you can use lean bacon or a salty ham instead, if you really want to, you can omit it entirely, but I find the extra saltiness in the flavours works perfectly.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220ºC/425ºF or Gas Mark 7.

  2. Season the beef fillet generously with salt and pepper before sealing the meat in a hot pan.
  3. Remove from the pan and leave the meat to rest.
  4. In a food processor, blend the onions, garlic, and mushrooms to a purée.
  5. Add the purée to the pan and fry until the water from the mushrooms has evaporated and you are left with a thick, dark mixture.
  6. Spread out the parma ham/bacon/ham on a sheet of cling film so that each slice overlaps the one before.
  7. On top of the parma ham, spread out the mushroom mixture evenly, being sure to cover right to the edges.
  8. Lightly brush the beef with the dijon mustard before lying it on top of the mushroom layer.
  9. Gently wrap the ham around the beef, being careful not to make any holes – remember to cover both ends of the beef too.
  10. Tightly wrap the cling film around the parcel of beef, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes – this allows time for the wellington to keep its shape.
  11. Whilst the beef is chilling, roll out the puff pastry.
  12. Remove the meat from the fridge and place the meat – gently – in the centre of the pastry, then wrap the pastry around the meat ensuring both ends are completely encased.
  13. Egg wash all sides of the pastry parcel before cooking in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
  14. The pastry should be a nice golden brown.
  15. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
  16. Serve with new potatoes and green beans.
  17. This recipe goes very well with a rich gravy or red wine jus.
"Wellington" is sometimes informally used to describe other dishes in which meat is baked in a puff pastry; the most common variations are sausage Wellington, lamb Wellington and salmon Wellington.

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