Inspired by the Great British Bake off, this past week I have been obsessing over making a Beef Wellington. For regular readers of this blog, you’ll know I have a love of all things pastry related, especially if it’s filled with meat. Not good for the heart or the waistline, but we’re not talking about indulging everyday!
Now this might sound strange but I think that one of the reasons why I haven’t made a Wellington before is that on the whole, a piece of beef fillet really isn’t one of my all time favourite beef cuts and if anything, over-rated. Yes, it’s achingly tender if cooked right but flavour wise I just think nothing beats a good old rib eye, rump or sirloin. I’m also all for cooking with the cheaper cuts, such as shin or brisket and if cooked well, they can easily rival a fillet on the tenderness and flavour scale.
Beef Wellington is definitely not an everyday dish. If you’re feeling frivolous and fancy tarting up a piece of fillet (which I was) then this is a dish for you. There are processes and elements involved that may seem complicated but it’s actually quite simple if you stick to the following rules:
- You sear the beef in advance and leave it to chill in the fridge.
- You must chill again once wrapped in the mushroom duxelle.
- Once wrapped, you chill the whole Wellington again to let the pastry rest.
You don’t have to make your own pastry, but I chose to. I used Dan Lepard’s Light spelt rough puff pastry’ from Short and Sweet.
I served up some celeriac puree and mustardy green beans with this, alongside a red wine sauce. I was really pleased with how it turned out, I didn’t ruin it and the pastry managed to stay crisp whilst retaining all of the moisture of the meat. Flavour wise it was just on the right side of rich, the celeric puree a nice light alternive to stodgy mash and the green beans cut through the richness nicely.
I’ll definitely make it again – I’m thinking as an alternative to the Christmas Turkey!…I can’t believe I’ve just made a Christmas reference in September!