Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with paté (often paté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Some recipes call for wrapping the coated meat in a crepe to retain moisture, thus preventing soggy pastry. Duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, onions or shallots and herbs, sautéed in butter, then reduced to a paste. “Wellington” is sometimes informally used to describe other culinary-delights in which meat is baked in puff pastry; common variations include Sausage Wellington and Salmon Wellington.
Food supplies our bodies with essential nutrition. We owe it to ourselves to select the best and to keep ourselves informed about the food that we eat. Beef is a good source of protein, vitamin B6, B12, zinc, iron, phosphorus, niacin, iron and selenium. But it also is a source of cholesterol. Beef has more fat content than fish and other animals and can contain more than 200 calories per serving.
A nice piece of beef fillet
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 cups of button mushrooms; you can
include brown crimini mushrooms (more
earthy and bold than the buttons, or the
portabella, a fully grown crimini)
1/3 cup of butter
1/2 cup of red wine
1 large sprig fresh thyme
4 to 6 shallots finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small box of puff pastry
Flour (for dusting only)
2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tsp water
Preheat your oven to 425 F. Place the fillet of beef on your baking tray and brush with one tbsp of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 15 minutes for medium-rare or 20 minutes for medium. Remove from oven to cool, then refrigerate for about 20 minutes.
While the beef is cooling, chop the mushrooms as finely as possible. (You can do this in a blender, taking care to use the pulse-chop option so as not to make a paste.)
Using a large pan, with your stove element at medium heat, add the butter and the remaining two tbsp of oil. Once the butter has melted add the mushrooms, sprig of thyme and finely chopped shallots. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
When you have a softened mixture pour the wine over it and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all the wine has been absorbed. The mixture should hold its shape when stirred. Now remove the mushroom duxelle from the pan to cool, discarding the sprig of thyme.
Now the fun part. Roll out a third of the pastry to a size of 18 cm x 30 cm (7×12 inch) strip and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Roll out the remaining pastry to about 28 x 36 cm (11×14 inches).
In the centre of the smaller piece of pastry, spoon duxelle for the fillet to sit on. Place the cooled fillet on top of the duxelle and completely cover the fillet with the remaining duxelle mixture. Now brush the pastry’s edges with beaten egg yolk. Using a rolling pin, carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing well into the lower pastry around the edges. Brush the top and sides of the wrapped fillet with more beaten egg yolk. Trim the joins to about a 4 cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle. Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the beef Wellington with long diagonal lines taking care not to cut through the pastry. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready to place back in the oven you should firstly heat the oven to 425 F. Brush the beef Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook until golden and crisp – 20-25 minutes for medium-rare beef, 30 minutes for medium. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving in thick slices.
The beef Wellington is usually served with roast potatoes and fresh vegetables but today I simply used asparagus.
I usually prepare a hunter’s gravy with added red wine and strained of any mushrooms to fully complement the dish.
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