BEEF WELLINGTON

A couple of months ago Steve got me into watching Hell’s Kitchen, for those of you who don’t know is an American reality cooking competition hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. It’s not the type of series I’d usually watch but I really got into it! About half way through the series Steve and I decided that we would have a little bet between ourselves to guess the winner of the series. If one of us picks the winner we would have to cook the other person a beef wellington, which is a popular dish served up in Hell’s Kitchen, that made our mouths water every time we saw it on the television. If none of us won then we’d made it together. I won’t give too much a way of who won the show, but Steve ended up winning our bet! So last Sunday I got to the kitchen and cooked up a scrumptious beef wellington, following the same recipe that Gordon Ramsay serves in Hell’s Kitchen.

Ingredients | Serves 2

400g beef fillet
Glug of olive oil
300g wild mushrooms
1 sprig of thyme (just the leaves)
250g puff pastry
4 slices of Parma ham
1 egg yolk
Salt and pepper

For the red wine jus:
1tbsp olive oil
100g beef trimmings (ask your butcher to reserve these when trimming the fillet)
1 red onion
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of thyme
1tsp red wine vinegar
500ml red wine
500ml beef stock

  1. Wrap the beef fillet tightly with three layers of cling film and chill in the fridge over night.
  2. Remove from the cling film and sear the beef in a hot pan with some oil for about 1 minute on each side so that it is slightly browned but rare in the middle. Remove it from the pan and allow to cool.
  3. Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in a pan with some olive oils, the thyme leaves, salt and pepper. Cook on a high heat for about 10 minutes, allowing the mushrooms to release their juices, when this moisture has evaporated you should be left with a mushroom paste (duxelle). If you don’t get this consistency whiz the mushroom mixture in a food processor.
  4. Roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface so that it is in a rectangular shape big enough to wrap round the beef. Then leave to chill in the fridge.
  5. Lay a sheet of cling film on the surface and place the 4 slices of Parma ham in the middle, side by side over lapping slightly, then even spread the mushroom paste over them.
  6. Season the beef and place on top of the mushrooms and Parma ham then use the cling film to wrap the mushroom and ham round the beef so it looks like a log, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  7. Brush the pastry with the egg yolk (mixed with a splash of water). Then remove the beef from the clingfilm and carefully wrap the pastry round it. Trim any excess pastry then cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.
  8.  Meanwhile make the red wine jus by heating the oil in a large pan and adding the beef trimmings. Fry the trimmings for a few minutes until browned. Finely slice the onion and add to the pan with the pepper corns, bay and thyme leaves and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring well until the onions become translucent.
  9. Add the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry. Then add the wine and boil until almost completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour. Strain the liquid through a sieve, season then set aside.
  10. When you are ready to cook the beef wellington, score the pastry and brush with the egg mixture. Bake in the oven at 200°C for 20-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  11. Heat up the red wine jus, and serve with the wellington carved in two.
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