Ultimate Beef Wellington
Dinner Party Ideas
The most important part of beef wellington is the pastry. Sealing the beef tightly in the pastry will ensure that the juices are sealed in and the meat remain soft and tender. The duxelle mushroom layer wrapped in prosciutto, not only adds delicious flavours, but also serves as insulation, so that only diffused, gentle heat reaches the beef fillet. That's because you want the oven to be hot enough to crip the pastry, but without overcooking the meat, which should be served medium and still pink in the middle.
1kg beef tenderloin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp parlsey, chopped
1 tbsp garlic, crushed
12 slices prosciutto
500g puff pastry, good-quality store-bought or homemade
2 egg yolks, for egg wash
Heat oil in a hot pan and sear the beef fillet for 3 minutes, or until browned all over, but still rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Then wrap tightly in a triple layer of cling film to set its shape as a long log, then chill for a few hours or overnight.
If your puff pastry is frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. If it's not made yet, follow the recipe instructions to make it.
Chop mushrooms as finely as possible so it resembles coarse breadcrumbs and mix with chopped parsley and garlic. Fry the mushroom duxelle mixture in butter on medium heat for about 10 mins, or until brown and all excess moisture has evaporated.
Place plastic wrap down on a work surface, overlapping, and cover with prosciutto so that’s big enough to cover the whole tenderloin. Spread the duxelles evenly and thinly over the prosciutto. Season with pepper and sit the seared fillet on top. Use the cling film to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends to tighten it nitly. Refrigerate while you work on the pastry.
Dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry as a long rectangle, big enough to fully cover the beef. Un-wrap the beef and place on top of the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash, then tightly roll. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.
When ready to eat (day 2 or day 3)
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Transfer wellington to a lined tray. Brush with more egg wash and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until pastry is golden. Rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
I find it easier to start 2 days before eating it, so that each step is reasonably quick and easy, with enough resting time in between. I also always prefer to get as much done as possible ahead of time, so that I only need to bake it and work on the trimmings on the day when entertaining.
Calories 573, Fat 35.7 grams, Cholesterol 153 milligrams, Sodium 522 milligrams, Carbs 23.8 grams, Protein 38.5 grams