Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Serves
4-6

If you’re feeling flush, you could do a lot worse than using a nice bit of fillet to make a Wellington. This is a massive treat of a dinner: succulent beef, wrapped in mushrooms and Parma ham, all encased in a big pillowcase of fluffy puff pastry. Just delicious! Make this if you’re celebrating something special with friends. It’s really not that difficult and the ingredients just sing on the plate. My little sister makes beef Wellington every Christmas Eve. I reckon she’s got it down pat, so I’ve nicked a few aspects of hers for this recipe. Maybe this year we’ll have a Wellington-off...

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
1kg good-quality beef fillet
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g unsalted butter
225g button mushrooms
75ml white wine
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
150g parma ham

For the pastry

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity see method for ingredients, puff pastry component only
plain flour, to dust
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
food processor
small palette knife, (optional)
tape measure, (for the pastry; optional, but I find it really useful)
baking tray
rolling pin
pastry brush

Method

  1. Rub the beef with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to just smoking, then put the beef in; it will spit, but keep the beef moving so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Sear the beef on all sides until a rich brown colour forms: you really want to get some colour on here, so about 15 minutes spent in the frying pan is perfectly acceptable. Reduce the heat to low and set the beef aside to cool.
  2. Put the shallots in the pan with the butter and ½ teaspoon more each of salt and pepper and cook until they are translucent.
  3. Put the mushrooms in a food processor with the wine and blitz until smooth. Scrape into the frying pan. Cook for 5–10 minutes to expel some of the moisture, stirring the whole time. Once the mushrooms resemble a fine paste, stir in the thyme, take off the heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Lay 2 large sheets of cling film on a work surface, overlapping each other by about 5 cm, to make a large square. Lay out the Parma ham in a rectangle about 35 x 30 cm, overlapping the slices. Using a small palette knife or a table knife, spread the reduced mushrooms over the ham, covering it totally.
  5. Lay the beef in the middle of the mushroom/Parma ham rectangle and gently lift 2 corners of the cling film up to roll half the ham over the meat. Flatten the ham down with your hands and peel the cling film away to lie back down on the work surface.
  6. Roll the other half of Parma ham over the beef in the same way. You should now have the beef totally wrapped in mushrooms and ham.
  7. Fold the ends of the Parma ham neatly and roll up the cling film tightly so that it looks like a massive shiny sausage. Twist the ends of the cling film to seal the Wellington together and put in the fridge to cool while you make the puff. (If you’re using packet puff, you still need to chill the beef for 1 hour.)
  8. Make the puff pastry.
  9. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and take the wrapped beef and chilled puff pastry out of the fridge.
  10. Roll the pastry out to 35 x 30 cm and peel the cling film off the beef. Gently lay the beef in the centre of the pastry. Put the beef on upside down: it should have a flattish surface that formed while it was in the fridge; this needs to be facing up.
  11. Fold the pastry over the beef and stick together by liberally painting with beaten egg. Fold the loose ends over, too, and stick down with beaten egg.
  12. Roll the Wellington over on to the baking tray, so the seams of pastry are now on the bottom and the top surface is smooth.
  13. Paint the remaining beaten egg over the pastry, then slash the pastry quite deeply (but not all the way through) with a sharp knife. Put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  14. Take the Wellington from the fridge. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, then take out and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will give you a medium-rare Wellington, so if you like it cooked more or less, adjust the time to your taste.
  15. Carve to serve and fight over who gets the last slice!

Note

  • This recipe has a star bake (extra advanced) difficulty.

Extras

  • This is a winner. I absolutely love it. The mushroom paste (duxelles) is a really tasty complement to such a meaty dish and we always sneakily try and take more than our share of Parma ham. If you want, you can replace the duxelles with 200 g of smooth chicken liver pâté, or ‘meat butter’ as one of our little cousins likes to call it! The most important thing to remember for this recipe is that you have got quite a dense lump of meat, so scaling up means you’re going to need to increase the cooking time a lot. If you want to change up to a 1.5 kg piece of beef, for example, the final bake time will be closer to 45 minutes. I’ve served this a few times for people who like their beef cooked medium, in which case I cut off their slices and just put them back in the oven for a bit longer.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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