Succulent beef, wrapped in crispy puff pastry and packed with a mushroom stuffing. This one does take a little more effort, but the reward is well worth it and is guaranteed to impress at your next dinner party!
For the wellington
- 1kg beef fillet
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 slices of prosciutto
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 500g all butter puff pastry
- 1 egg
For the mushroom stuffing
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 400g button mushrooms, roughly sliced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 50g butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
For the gravy
- 25g butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Sprig of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 175ml red wine
- 1 beef stock cube
- Begin by soaking the porcini mushrooms is 400ml of just-boiled water, and set to one side. Season the beef fillet with plenty of salt and pepper, then heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sear the beef on all sides (holding it up with tongs to sear the ends) for around 10 minutes. Set aside on a tray, and remove the pan from the heat but don’t clean it.
- Drain and squeeze the liquid out of the porcini mushrooms, leaving a little juice reserved, and pop in a food processor along with the button mushrooms and thyme. Season well and pulse until everything is finely chopped, but not completely smooth.
- Put the butter in the pan and put the heat back on. Once it is sizzling, throw in the shallot and cook until softened. Turn up the heat and tip in the mushroom mixture, along with the Worcestershire sauce, and cook everything for around 10 minutes until you have a paste. Tip into a bowl, add the parmesan and set to one side.
- For the first stage of assembly, place a large sheet of cling film and overlap the prosciutto on top in a row. Tip the mushroom mixture on top, then cover with another sheet of cling film and, using your hands, pat it down into a thin layer that just covers the prosciutto. Remove the top sheet of cling film, and place the beef down the centre of the mushroom mixture. Now, using the edge of the cling film, lift and roll the prosciutto and mushrooms to encase the beef fillet and roll everything together into a tight sausage shape. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.
- Lightly flour a surface and roll the puff pastry out to a rectangle shape. Trim the edges to neaten and lightly brush the pastry with a beaten egg, then carefully unwrap the beef parcel and lay in the middle of the pastry. Fold the shorter edges of the pastry over the fillet, then roll the whole thing around to completely encase. Cover in cling film, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (this can even be done overnight).
- Heat your oven to 220°C / 200°C Fan / Gas Mark 7. Lightly oil a sturdy baking tray, unwrap the beef parcel and brush all over with a beaten egg. Sprinkle the top with sea salt and pop in the tray, sealed side down. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C / 180°C Fan / Gas Mark 6, and continue to bake for 25 minutes (rare beef), 30 mins (medium rare), 35 minutes (medium) or 45 minutes (well-done). If the pastry looks like it’s starting to catch and burn, cover with a tent of silver foil. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes to relax.
- Whilst your beef is resting, make the gravy by heating the butter in the mushroom pan and fry the shallot, thyme and bay leaf together, scraping the crispy bits on the pan with a wooden spoon. Dust the flour over and brown, then add the red wine and bring to a boil (this will leave you with a purple paste). Pour in the reserved mushroom soaking water, crumble in the stock cube and any juice from the resting beef, then simmer for around 5 minutes until you have a gorgeous gravy.
- Carefully carve the wellington using a sharp knife. Serve with your choice of veg and the fabulous gravy!
Lead image: bhofack2 via Getty images.