Classic British dishes always hit the mark at Christmas time – especially when
they're a treat like this, with the tender beef fillet, melt-in-the-mouth
pastry, and rich pâté and mushroom filling.
Serves 6. 1 hour preparation, 35-40 mins cooking
1kg whole centre fillet of beef (Aberdeen Angus if possible)
4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
Sea salt and milled black pepper
200g shallots, finely chopped
350g button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 sprigs tarragon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
80g good quality chicken liver pâté
Flour for rolling the pastry
300g block of puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
2 egg yolks
For the sauce
100ml red wine
200g veal stock
Heat a large frying pan until smoking. Meanwhile, take the beef fillet and rub with about 2 tablespoons of the rapeseed oil, then season with salt and pepper. Carefully place into the hot pan and seal the meat until browned all over (about 2 minutes). Remove from the pan, place on a tray to cool, then chill in the fridge.
Using the same pan, add the remaining rapeseed oil if required, then gently cook the shallots until soft and transparent. Add the mushrooms, then increase the heat and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and let it cool, then add the tarragon, parsley, breadcrumbs and pâté. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
On a floured work surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangle 3mm thick and brush all over with the beaten egg. Spread the mushroom mix to within 3cm of the edge of the pastry. Place the beef at one end of the pastry and carefully roll it up, making sure the final join is underneath. Gather together the ends and trim off any excess pastry.
Place on a tray lined with greaseproof paper and return to the fridge for 30 minutes.
To bake the Beef Wellington
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5 and warm up a baking sheet.
Take the Wellington from the fridge and prick the pastry all over with a fork. Brush with the 2 egg yolks, using a pastry brush.
Carefully place the Wellington onto the preheated baking tray and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes.
To make the sauce
Pour the Madeira into a hot saucepan and reduce the volume by half. Add the red wine and reduce by half again.
Add the veal stock, turn down the heat and simmer to a sauce consistency. Keep it warm until you need it.
Once cooked, let the Beef Wellington rest for 5 minutes, before moving it carefully onto a carving board and cutting it into thick slices.