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Beef Wellington


With Christmas upon us, I am proposing the always decadent Beef Wellington. ‘Celebrity’ Chefs, and all those weekend glossy mags, will tell you that only a ‘Centre Cut’ Beef Fillet will do the job. That’s all very well if you are running a smart restaurant, and you want every piece to look the same, but the Rump Fillet, Chateaubriand, has all the flavour, is just as tender and will save a few pennies. It’s my cut of choice. As with all good things, your Beef Wellington will need a little investment of money and time, but, as it sets off your festive table, you will decide it is worth the effort. (BTW; this is the Christmas treat destined for my table this year).
(Feeds 4)

800g Beef Fillet
1 tbsp Rape seed oil
2 lge Shallots – finely chopped
Field mushroom – Finely chopped and equal quantity to the shallot
1 knob Butter
100 ml White wine
8 slices Air cured ham (Parma, Bayonne, Serrano)
500g pack of puff pastry
Plain flour
1 lge Egg - beaten
Cracked black pepper / salt

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Season the fillet to taste and sear it on all sides in the pan.
Make sure that the fillet colours well on all sides. Remove the fillet to a dish and
allow it to cool enough to go into the fridge. Leave in the fridge for at least 15
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan, without letting it burn. Add the shallots and
sweat off for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and mix well. Add the white wine
and let the mixture cook out, until all of the wine has evaporated. Stir from time to
time. Once cooked, allow to cool until cold. We call this mixture a ‘duxelles’.
3. On a clean, cool surface, lay out a sheet of cling film a little wider than the fillet (it
may be necessary to overlap two sheets) and about 30cm long. Lay the air cured
ham in two rows of four. The two rows overlapping in the middle of the cling film.
The ham should be wide enough and long enough to encompass the fillet.
Carefully spread the duxelles mixture over the ham. Now place the fillet onto the
4. Using the edge of the cling film, roll the duxelles and the ham all the way around
the fillet. You should now have a tube shaped piece. Wrap the meat in a fresh
piece of cling fil and chill for about 30 minutes.
5. Lightly dust a clean, cool work surface and lay out the puff pastry. Remove the
fillet from the fridge and place it onto the pastry. Now roll the pastry around the
fillet. Brush the seams with beaten egg. Trim the ends neatly, and fold under the
6. Use your beaten egg to brush the whole of the Beef wellington. Use your
imagination to decorate the top of the pastry so as to impress your family and
7. Let the beef rest in the fridge for 15 minutes, before putting it into the pre heated
oven at 180˚/ Gas 6. Let the beef cook for 30 minutes, until it is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest in a warm place for at 15 minutes before
serving to your adoring guests.

This process is going to make you finished Beef Wellington rare to medium rare. If you prefer your beef a little more cooked, put it in the oven for 10 minutes during process 1, 15 minutes for well-done.