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Beef Wellington

black plate with a single-serve beef Wellington with broccolini on the side and roast potatoes in the background

We love Beef Wellington as the main dish on Christmas day (although it’s a great beef dish for any season).  It looks and tastes great, but given that Christmas day can be very hectic for the cook, this beef wellington recipe includes some “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….

Looking down on a beef wellington that has pastry leaves on top.
Finished beef wellington wrapped in pasty and cooked to perfection

Tips for making Beef Wellington

My shortcuts for Beef Wellington are pretty cool even if I do say so myself. I usually make my own butter puff pastry, but on Christmas Eve when there is so much to do, I sometimes buy it or have some homemade stashed in my freezer ready.  When I buy puff pastry I look specifically for “Butter Puff”.  That is puff pastry that’s been made with butter, not shortening. It can be hard to find but I’ve asked for it at my supermarket, and they now stock it.  So you might be thinking, what’s the difference, or is it worth the extra money?

Classes if you are local (Melbourne) or Zooms from anywhere 🙂

Pastry made with butter rather than shortening

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 warm, but not piping hot so that it burns your mouth.  As you start eating you feel an unpleasant greasy film around the inside of your mouth.  Yep, that’s it right there.  Greasy fat.  You know exactly what I mean.  That fat is bad fat, as it doesn’t melt at body temperature.

Small mushrooms pices on a sheet of pastry.
Mushrooms on the pastry sheet

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 to make butter puff pastry, and it doesn’t have to be hugely time-consuming like everyone thinks.  After making it, you do have to 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, back to the story.  The recipe looks long, but it isn’t really.  Just read it, it has loads of tips and tricks throughout for those of you who have never made a Beef Wellington before.

Mushrooms, mustard and beef on a sheet of pastry, ready to be wrapped and cooked.
Beef covered with mustard, ready to be wrapped
black plate with a single-serve beef Wellington with broccolini on the side and roast potatoes in the background

Beef Wellington

5 from 3 votes

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becs-table.com.au
Beef Wellington, wraps a tender fillet in pastry, and is named after the Duke of Wellington. It is indeed a dish worthy of royalty. It goes splendidly with roast vegetables.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty Medium
Course Dinner
Cuisine English
Servings 6 or 7
Method Conventional

Ingredients
  

  • Approx. 1kg beef eye fillet
  • 1 Packet of Mountain bread or similar flat bread This is instead of crepes, trust me they won’t be able to tell
  • 3 sheets butter puff pastry
  • 350 g 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
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ brown onion
  • ½ teaspoons thyme leaves only
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

Instructions
 

  • Trim the fillet. Remove any sinew (shiny silver bits, they make it tough).
  • Form the 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 tablespoons 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 finely 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. I made some leaves out of the excess pastry and popped them on top.
  • 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 220°c fan and once that temperature has been reached put it in the oven for around 35 mins for Medium rare and another 5 minutes for medium. Or use a temperature probe, I took mine out when it reached 65°C. Check about 1/2 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.

4 Comments

    1. Sure, you’re only limited by your imagination. Think about these.
      Caramelized Onions: Offer a sweet, rich flavor that complements beef well.
      Sun-Dried Tomatoes: Provide a tangy and intense flavor, with a chewy texture.
      Roasted Red Peppers: Add sweetness and a soft texture.
      Spinach or Kale: These greens can add a fresh, slightly earthy flavor.
      Eggplant: When roasted, it becomes soft and has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
      Zucchini or Squash: They provide a soft texture and absorb flavors well.
      Roasted Garlic Puree: Offers a deep, caramelized flavor.
      Chestnuts: Provide a unique nutty flavor and a soft, crumbly texture.
      Artichoke Hearts: Have a soft texture and a subtle, nutty flavor.
      Olives or Capers: For a salty, briny twist.
      Goat Cheese or Feta: Adds creaminess and tang.
      Lentils: Cooked and seasoned lentils can mimic the earthy flavor of mushrooms.
      Walnuts or Pecans: Finely chopped for a crunchy, nutty addition.

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