Beef Wellington is a show-stopping centrepiece for any occasion and a celebration of the luxury of a fillet of beef. The classic recipe either has mushrooms or pâté around the beef with a thin layer of pancakes to hold it all together. In my version, I have used a mushroom filling and replaced the pancakes with thinly-sliced Parma ham. It may not help with soaking up some of the juices as the pancakes do but it adds a lovely flavour to the finished dish. I hope you enjoy it.
White onion, finely-chopped
sprig of thyme
pepper, ground black
Flat mushrooms, chopped finely in a food processor
Flat leaf parsley, finely-chopped
Tarragon leaves, finely-chopped
Pepper, ground black
Puff pastry, all butter, rolled to 15cm x 30cm and ½ cm thick
For the red wine sauce
Button mushrooms, finely sliced
Brown chicken stock
In a large sauté pan, on a medium heat, gentle sweeten the onions and herbs in the butter with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper for 5 minutes covered with a lid.
Once they are translucent and soft, remove the lid, increase the heat to high, add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds stirring constantly to reduce the liquid from the onions and cook out the raw garlic.
Add the finely-chopped mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes stirring all the time until they are cooked through and all the moisture has evaporated.
Add the chopped herbs and spoon the mixture onto a tray and leave to cool before placing in the fridge to firm up.
Season the fillet of beef with salt and pepper.
Pre-heat a large frying pan on a high heat and sear the beef in the oil for no longer than 2 minutes.
Place onto an oven tray and leave to cool while you roll out your puff pastry.
Ensure the pastry is rolled out to a thickness of 2mm and is roughly 30cm long by 35cm wide.
Place the Parma ham slices onto the pastry, ensuring it is 2cm longer than your fillet of beef with enough length to completely wrap around the beef.
Spoon the mushroom mixture onto the Parma ham and spread to an even thickness making sure you pick out and discard the bay leaf and any thyme stalks.
Place the seared fillet of beef in the centre of the mushrooms, mix the egg yolk and salt together in a small bowl and brush the inside edges of the pastry with the seasoned egg yolk. Gently roll the pastry, Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef.
Firmly press the overlap of pastry to seal in the beef and tuck the edges underneath.
Place this onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper and, using a small knife, gently score the pastry with whatever pattern you chose.
Brush with the remaining egg yolk and leave to rest in the fridge while you pre-heat your oven to 200C.
Cook for 35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and leave to rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
Carve it at the table with a little red wine sauce and vegetable of your choice.
For the sauce:
On a medium heat, soften the shallots in the butter for 2-3 minutes.
Add the mushrooms and soften for a further 2 minutes.
Pour in the red wine and reduce by half. Add the stock, and continue to reduce by half.
Taste, correct the seasoning if required and infuse the tarragon in it for five minutes.