Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

Complete Mushroom Book
Alastair Hendy

To celebrate living in Britain for nearly 30 years, I have taken the two British ingredients that most impressed me and united them in this fairly classic recipe. Because of my passion for mushrooms – and the plethora of mushrooms growing in the wild in Britain – they both had to be honoured here. The dish does require some preparation, I agree, but you can do this in advance, giving you time to receive your guests, while the oven does the rest.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg best fillet of beef you can buy
30g butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
250g puff pastry
1 quantity Wild mushroom duxelles
2 egg yolks, beaten
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


Quantity Ingredient
125ml milk
55g plain flour
1 egg, beaten
butter, for greasing


Quantity Ingredient
55g carrot, finely cubed
55g celery, finely cubed
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 black peppercorns, crushed
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 tablespoon plain flour
100ml strong red wine
500ml Basic stock
75ml madeira
30g butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Start by making the pancake. Put the milk, flour, egg and a pinch of salt into a blender and mix to a batter. Line a baking tray of roughly 35 cm square with baking paper, butter this well, then pour in the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10–15 minutes until set. Leave to cool.
  3. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper, heat the butter and oil in a large pan and fry the beef on each side to sear.
  4. Roll the pastry out into a rectangular shape that will completely enclose the beef. Take the rectangular pancake and spread the duxelles on it. Place the beef on the pancake and gently roll the beef in the pancake. Transfer this very gently on to the rolled-out pastry, then wrap it up completely in the pastry, making sure that the top is sealed securely. Place on a greased baking tray, brush with beaten egg yolk, and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the meat is still pink.
  5. Meanwhile, in the same pan as the beef was browned add the vegetables for the sauce, along with the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme, and fry gently for a few minutes to soften. Add the flour and stir in gently, then add the wine and stir to loosen the meat juices from the base of the pan. Add the stock and bring to the boil, stirring, then continue to boil to reduce the sauce down.
  6. Discard the bay leaves and pass through a chinois sieve, or leave it as it is, although it will be a bit coarse. Add the Madeira and butter, stirring in well.
  7. Remove the beef from the oven, cut into slices and serve on a hot plate with some spinach or French beans, pouring over some of the sauce. It may be a long procedure – but it’s well worthwhile!
wild food
Complete Mushroom Book
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