Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

Kitchin Suppers
Laura Edwards

Of all the dishes I have made over the years, this is probably the one that’s received the most accolades. It is a bit of a lengthy recipe, with several preparation and chilling stages, but each one is important to the end result. You should be able to buy the lacy caul fat or crépine, which holds everything together, from a good butcher if you give a few days’ notice. It freezes well, so buy enough for another meal and keep it in the freezer. If you are unable to source caul fat, a thin pancake works almost as well.

Beef Wellington is an excellent choice for a larger dinner party and as satisfying to prepare as it is to serve. Just bear in mind that you need to start a day ahead!


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 fillet beef, about 1.75kg
1 tablespoon olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Quantity Ingredient
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
10g butter
500g button mushrooms, cleaned and finely chopped
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

Chicken mousse

Quantity Ingredient
1 large skinless chicken breast fillet
3 free-range medium egg whites
150ml double cream
150ml whipping cream

To assemble

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
300g spinach
200g caul fat
100g pancetta, sliced
2 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry, about 35 x 25cm
2 free-range eggs, beaten


  1. Cut the fillet of beef in half lengthways and then wrap both pieces tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for 24 hours to set the shape.
  2. Unwrap the beef. Heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan until smoking, then add the beef and sear, turning as necessary, for 3–4 minutes until evenly browned on all sides. Allow to cool, then wrap tightly again in cling film and set aside.
  3. For the mushrooms, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat and add the butter. Once melted, add the chopped mushrooms and fry gently until very tender. Add the shallot, garlic and tarragon and cook for a further 5–6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the liquid has completely reduced and the pan is quite dry.
  4. For the chicken mousse, put the chopped chicken and egg whites into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a large bowl, pushing it through with a spatula. Stir in both creams and season with salt and pepper. To check the seasoning, fry off a teaspoonful of the mixture in a small pan with a little oil, then taste and adjust the uncooked mixture as necessary.
  5. Stir the cooked mushrooms into the chicken mousse, then spoon it into a piping bag fitted with a large plain nozzle (if you have one) and set aside.
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan, add the spinach and cook for 1–2 minutes until wilted. Set aside to cool.
  7. Lay out the caul fat on your work surface to form two separate sheets, overlapping the pieces slightly as necessary, then layer the pancetta slices on top. Spoon the wilted spinach across the middle of each pancetta sheet, then pipe or spread the chicken and mushroom mousse on top. Cover both with cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.
  8. Place each piece of seared beef on top of a chicken mousse bed, then lift the caul fat from one side and roll the layers of mousse, spinach, pancetta and caul fat around the beef to form a log. Wrap both logs tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for 1 hour to set.
  9. Meanwhile, roll out each sheet of puff pastry so that it will be large enough to wrap around a rolled beef fillet and enclose it completely. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Brush the rested pastry with beaten egg. Lay a beef roll along one side of each pastry sheet, then wrap the pastry around the beef, rolling it into a tight cylinder. Fold in the ends, then trim off the excess pastry from the sides and long edge, leaving a slight overlap to seal. Brush the edges with beaten egg and press them against the parcel to seal. Brush the parcels all over with beaten egg (see below) and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
  11. Heat the oven to 180°C. Brush the parcels again with beaten egg, then sprinkle all over with sea salt. Lift them onto a baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and rest on a warm plate for 5 minutes.
  12. To serve, cut each Beef Wellington into 4 thick slices, discarding the pastry ends. Place a slice on each warm serving plate and season with salt and pepper. Serve at once, with your chosen accompaniments. Sautéed wild mushrooms and wilted spinach or other seasonal greens are ideal accompaniments.


  • Once you have wrapped the beef roll in the puff pastry, brush the surface of the pastry all over with beaten egg. This seals the pastry and gives it a deep golden sheen once baked.
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