We had Beef Wellington for the main protein dish on Christmas day this year. 2011
When you have a bunch of fussy eaters and you need to cook more than two types of protein and the rest of the main fair, you might want to try some of my “nobody will know” shortcuts.
Well, when I say nobody knows, I mean none of my guests on this special day will know. I hope they don’t read this blog. Heheheee
Anyway, my shortcuts to beef Wellington are pretty cool even if I do say so myself.
First I usually make my own butter puff, but on Christmas Eve when there is so much to do, if I haven’t had the chance to make it and freeze it ahead of time I might buy it. If I’m going to buy it I look for “Butter Puff”. That is puff pastry that’s been made with butter, not shortening. It can be hard to find but ask for it, let them know you want them to stock it. Puff pastry made with butter is better for you and tastes so much nicer. So you might be thinking what’s the difference? You don’t want to pay the little bit extra!
Let me explain how you can tell the difference. Have you experienced this? You just purchased a warm sausage roll or some other pastry treat, and it’s just warm not piping hot to burn your mouth. As you start eating you start to feel a greasy film around the inside of your mouth eeeeek. Yep, that’s it right there. Greasy fat. You know exactly what I mean. This fat is bad fat, it doesn’t melt at body temperature so you know, you get the picture. Butter on the other hand, melts in your mouth whether the pastry is hot or cold. When I teach my pastry classes my students really can’t believe it’s so easy and not hugely time-consuming like everyone thinks. You do have to go to it and give it a turn and roll a few times during the day but that’s it. I even show you how you can make and store it in the freezer without going grey.
Gosh once again back to the story. The recipe looks long, it isn’t. Just read it, it has loads of tips and tricks throughout for those of you that have never made a Wellington before.
Author: Bec's Table
- Approx. 1kg beef eye fillet
- 1 pack of Mountain bread or similar (this is instead of crepes, trust me they won’t be able to tell)
- 350g Mushrooms (I like to add some dried wild that have been soaked for a good ½ an hour) Mustard (I prefer hot English but use Dijon if you don’t like it too strong)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 50g butter
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ brown onion
- ½ tsp
thyme, leaves only
- 1 egg
- What I did. Firstly trim the fillet. Remove any sinew (shiny silver bits, they make it tough).
Formthe fillet into a good shape and put in the fridge to chill. Leave it there for at least ½ an hour.
- Heat a good fry pan until it’s hot, while that's happening take out your beef and season it all around. Once the pan is up to temp add approx. 2
tablespoon of oil and sear the meat all around caramelising the fillet to add flavour. Once the fillet has a good even colour all around, take it from the heat and brush your mustard all over the outside, secure the fillet back into a firm roll and return to the fridge to chill through.
- If you are going to bake your Wellington now, turn the oven to 200c. Chop the garlic and onion very fine. Add to the pan juices from the meat and cook on a gentle heat.
- Chop the mushrooms very fine and add to the pan with the thyme leaves. Add the wine and sauté till all the liquid has been driven off. Keep an eye on it stirring occasionally; this should take about 10 to 15 minutes. You need to remove all the liquid so that the pastry doesn’t go soggy on the base of your cooked Wellington. While the mushrooms are sautéing, Take out your mountain bread and lay the sheets out in a rectangle (big enough to wrap up the Wellington). Once again traditionally you would use a crepe here, but the mountain bread works just the same. shhhh don't tell them.
- Add the mushroom (this can have a little texture if you wish although traditionally it’s almost like a paste) to the centre of the mountain bread and spread it out in a rectangle leaving about 6cm around the edges to make it easier to wrap. Set this aside on a tray, seam side down, in the fridge while you prepare your pastry. Clean down your work surface and roll or lay out your pastry into a rectangle.
- Brush a little egg on the surface so that the mountain bread will stick. Bring out the meat/wrapped mountain bread and place it onto the centre of the pastry. Wrap the pastry making sure it is completely covered. The side where all the creases and folds are is the base of your Wellington so place it down on the tray with the clean smooth side facing up.
- Brush again with egg. Now you have to place it in the fridge for at least 30 mins to rest and cool.
- I usually make it Christmas Eve and leave it in the fridge till I need to bake it off for lunch the next day.
- When it’s time to cook. Preheat your oven to 220c and once that temperature has been reached put it in the oven for 35 mins for Medium rare and another 5 minutes for medium. Check about ½ way to make sure your pastry is browning nicely. Once the time is up, take the Wellington from the oven and let it rest at least 10 minutes before carving. Not all ovens are created equal this is what I do in mine, you might need to test your oven.
Try it and tell me what you think.