Carla's recipe of the week: baked Beef Wellington

A 'would be' brilliant British classic

by Carla Griscti

I have to be honest, I really wanted nothing more than to brag about my flawless culinary skills after my first attempt of cooking this great British classic, but alas this brilliant Beef Wellington admittedly tasted the business, but didn’t quite live up to my expectations on the visual front.

When I took it out of the oven it looked beautiful; a delicious piece of slow-cooked beef fillet smothered in a mustard, thyme and mushroom paste and wrapped in a perfect envelope of golden-crusted pastry. But (and a big but) unfortunately as soon as I cut into the flaky pastry, my so-called wonderful creation crumbled into a rather unattractive looking cornish pasty!

The recipe I followed omitted to tell me that unless there’s another layer separating the mushroom mixture from the pastry blanket, the bottom of the Wellington will assuredly turn into a soggy mess! A top tip to prevent this from happening is to wrap the beef fillet and mushroom paste with a homemade crêpe. This will absorb the moisture and keep your pastry layer perfectly crisp.

You will need…
• 400g beef fillet
• 400g button or chestnut mushrooms
• 4 slices Parma ham or prosciutto
• Mustard for brushing meat (English or Dijon)
• 200g puff pastry
• 2 egg yolks (beaten)
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1 sprig thyme
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil
• Plain flour (for dusting)

Serves 2
Time: 60 mins (approx.)
Leave time for resting

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Season the beef fillet with salt and pepper.

3. Heat a little olive oil in a good sized frying pan, quickly sear the seasoned beef fillet for a couple of minutes either side.

4. Allow to cool and brush generously with mustard.

5. Chop the mushrooms finely and fry off with some olive oil, garlic and fresh thyme for a couple of minutes. Season.

6. If you have a food processor, throw your sautéed mushrooms in and blend until you reach a paste consistency. Without a processor, pat the mushrooms dry with a piece of kitchen roll to absorb some of the moisture.

7. Roll out a generous length of cling film and lay out the slices of parma or prosciutto ham, each one overlapping the other. Spread your mushroom paste thickly and evenly over the ham.

8. This is the tricky bit! Place the beef fillet in the middle and gently roll the parma ham and mushrooms over the beef, keeping hold of the outer layer of cling film and carefully rolling into a sausage shape. Twist the ends of cling film to tighten and leave for 10-15 minutes in the fridge to hold its shape.

9. Lightly dust your surface with a little flour and roll out your pastry into a size that will cover your beef. Egg wash the edge of the pastry and here is where you wrap your fillet in your magical crêpe! This will create a layer in between the pastry and the beef keeping your pastry gorgeous and crispy.

10. Place the beef in the middle of the pastry and roll to cover your fillet in a neat envelope shape. Cut away any excess pastry edges then gently mark the top of the pastry case with three diagonal lines using the back of a knife, taking care not to cut into the pastry. Finish by brushing the top of your pastry envelope with your beaten egg yolks.

11. Leave to chill for about 5 minutes, egg wash again then place into your pre-heated oven and leave to bake for 35-40 minutes.

12. Take out of the oven and leave to rest for 8-10 minutes before slicing.

13. Serve with garlic and rosemary sautéed new potatoes, roasted baby tomatoes and wilted spinach. Accompany with a bold glass of red wine.

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About The Authors

Carla  Griscti

Carla Griscti

Editorial assistant on allaboutyou; Music lover, travel bee and food fanatic.

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Emma Marsden

Emma Marsden

Food consultant of All About You, loves creating something out of nothing and decluttering.

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Bernadette  Fallon

Bernadette Fallon

Editor of All About You; an online journalist with a fetish for glossy magazines.

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Adrienne  Wyper

Adrienne Wyper

Deputy editor of All About You. I love cycling, cooking and creating

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Carol  Muskoron

Carol Muskoron

Associate editor of All About You, loves life (mostly) and one-pan recipes (always).

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