This is what we had for Christmas dinner, but it’s a wonderful recipe for any celebration meal or for high days and holidays. People tend to be put off making it because they think it’s long and involved, but really it’s just about organisation and can be done in three stages – stages 1 and 2 the day before, leaving stage 3 for the day itself. You’ll be amazed by how tender the beef becomes and how the pastry remains moist but not soggy, thanks to the Parma ham”lining”.
Ingredients (serves 6 generously):
- 1.5kg fillet steak
- 1 450g pack puff pastry
- 100g butter
- 300g mushrooms very finely chopped
- 3 shallots very finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
- 100g chicken liver pâté
- 1 egg beaten
- 4 slices Parma ham
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
Stage 1: Melt half the butter in a frying pan and, when hot, brown the fillet steak on all sides. Remove from pan and put – uncovered – in a roasting tin in the oven (preheated to 180 degrees C) for 20 minutes (for medium cooked). Remove from the oven and leave to go completely cold.
Stage 2 (the Duxelles): Melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and add the chopped mushrooms, shallots and garlic. Fry until all the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms. Season, add the thyme and mash the chicken liver pâté into the mushroom mix (the Duxelles) and leave to go cold.
Stage 3 (assembling the Beef Wellington): Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly-floured board till about 3mm thick and big enough to encase the meat. Spread the Duxelles mix evenly over the centre of the pastry, leaving approx 1″ of pastry around the edges. Lay your Parma ham evenly on top of the Duxelles. Rub the Dijon mustard all over the beef and place it in the middle of the pastry. Bring up the sides and ends of the pastry to completely encase the beef – seal the joins with beaten egg. Turn your Wellington over, so that the seams are underneath. Brush with beaten egg. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or overnight. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C and cook for 40 minutes. Remove your finished Beef Wellington to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before serving.