Beef Wellington


Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with pate (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. In this recipe I wrap the coated meat in a crepe to retain the moisture and prevent it making the pastry soggy.
A whole tenderloin may be wrapped and baked, and then sliced for serving, or as in this recipe, the fillet may be sliced into individual portions prior to wrapping and baking.
This is a classic dish and one that I have made with many different fillings, Venison, Pork and black pudding, Mini quail (as a starter) or even a vegetarian. The list is endless, but I do find that the classic beef Wellington is my personal favourite.

Serves 4


For the beef ;

800g beef fillet 
1tbsp olive oil

For the mushroom farce;

2-3 tbsp olive oil 
1kg wild mushrooms, cleaned thoroughly of any grit    
500g button, finely chopped    
3 shallots peeled and finely chopped  
1 head of garlic peeled and finely chopped 
1 bunch fresh tarragon      
1 tbsp reduced beef stock

For the chicken mousse;

3 chicken breasts skins removed, and chopped  
12 free-range egg whites   
500ml double cream            
500ml whipping cream    
salt and freshly ground white pepper

For the crêpes;

125g plain flour       
pinch salt 
1 free-range egg   
150ml milk      
150ml water   
1 tbsp butter, melted                                                              
olive oil for frying

To build the wellington;

4 x 50g pieces foie gras
3 sheets ready-rolled puff pastry   
2 free-range eggs beaten    
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Madeira sauce;

1 shallot, finely diced
200ml Madeira
500ml beef stock
100g cold butter
1tblsp parsley chopped


For the beef;

Preheat the oven to 230c.
Tightly wrap the beef fillet in cling film and chill in the fridge for 24 hours.
Remove the cling film from the beef and cut into 4 individual 200g steaks. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until smoking, then sear the beef for 2-3 minutes on all sides, or until golden-brown all over. Allow to cool, then tightly wrap up again in cling film and set aside.

For the mushroom farce;

Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in a pan over a low heat and gently fry the wild mushrooms for 30 minutes, or until very tender. Set aside to cool, and then finely chop.
Return the pan to the heat without the wild mushrooms, adding more olive oil if needed. Add the button mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes, and then add the cooked wild mushrooms, shallots, garlic, tarragon and tablespoon of the beef stock. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is quite dry, stirring well, then set aside to cool. When cool chop the mushroom mix quite finely with a large cooks knife.

For the chicken mousse;

Place the chopped chicken breasts into a food processor with the egg whites and blend until smooth. Pass the chicken mixture through a fine sieve, pushing the mixture through with the back of a ladle, then stir in the double cream and whipping cream and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, then spoon the mousse into a piping bag with a wide nozzle and set aside.

For the crêpes;

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then crack in the egg and mix well.
Add the milk and water and stir well, then add the melted butter and beat well until smooth and combined.
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, pour in a ladleful of batter and swirl around until it thinly covers the base of the pan. Fry for about 30 seconds until the underside is set and beginning to turn golden-brown, turn over with a spatula and cook on the other side

To build the wellingtons;

Lay out 4 crêpes onto a large tray, then pipe over and spread out the chicken and mushroom mousse, place a piece of foie gras on each and cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for one hour, or until set. When set remove from the fridge and place the seared beef on top of the chicken mousse, then roll the crêpes over the top to completely enclose the beef fillet. Wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for one hour to set.

For the Wellington pastry;

Preheat the oven to 180c
Roll out the puff pastry and cut into 8 disks, brush 4 with the beaten egg and place the beef parcels on top, then wrap the other pastry over the beef and press the edges together, sealing the edges. Brush the pastry all over with more beaten egg and rest for one hour. Brush again with the beaten egg, then season all over with sea salt.
Place the beef Wellington on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 14minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown all over. Remove from the oven and rest for 10mins. This will produce a perfectly medium to rare wellington.

For the Madeira sauce;

Place a small pan over high heat and add a little olive oil, add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the Madeira and reduce until almost evaporated. Add the beef stock and bring to the boil, turn the heat to a simmer and reduce the stock until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in the diced cold butter, swirling around until it has all been incorporated. Make sure this is done of the heat, because if it becomes too hot the butter will split. Add the parsley and adjust seasoning.

To serve;

Cut each wellington in half and place onto warm serving plates, pour over the sauce.
I find it best to eat this dish with roast root vegetables and champ, but will go with a great selection of veg and potatoes, you just choose!!!

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