Sunday, September 2, 2007


I made Beef Wellington for my husbands birthday - he has reached an age where there is a '0' at the end of the number! Something special had to be made, to celebrate his special day.
Choosing the recipe was quite challenging, there are so many versions of Beef Wellington. A recipe from a food writer, rather than one from a chef's book, was the main criteria. I wanted this to be home cooking at its best and not me trying to copy restaurant food.
The meat was cut from the middle of the fillet and was bought from my local QGuild butcher.
I prepared the beef the day before, popped it in the fridge and cooked it the next evening.
A variety of steamed vegetables were served with the Beef Wellington.
The meat cost me a small fortune, but its not everyday you get the chance to serve prime fillet in such a delicious way.

MEAT by Joanna Farrow

ISBN 0600612627 - Page 33

Serves: 6

1.5kg middle piece beef fillet, 50g butter, 2 small onions - finely chopped, 300g chestnut mushrooms - chopped, 2 tablespoons brandy, 500g puff pastry, 200g smooth chicken pate, 1 egg - lightly beaten, salt and pepper.

1. Trim off the excess fat and season the beef. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sear the beef on all sides. Transfer it to a roasting tin, reserving the fat in the pan, roast in a preheated oven 200ºC(400ºF), Gas 6 for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
2. Fry the onions in the pan for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and a little seasoning and fry until the moisture has evaporated. Add the brandy and fry for a further 1 minute. Leave to cool.
3. Thinly roll out the pastry to a large rectangle. Spread the top of the meat with the pate, then press a thick layer of the mushroom mixture over the top. Invert the beef onto the pastry and spread with the remaining mushrooms.
4. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and bring it up over the fillet to enclose the meat completely, trimming off any bulky areas at the corners. Place, join side down, on a lightly greased baking sheet and brush with more egg. Bake for 35 minutes, until deep golden. Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carving.

My son took the photograph despite all the kitchen frenzy - my husband decided to give food photography a miss. It was a day to enjoy freshly cooked hot food - we gave lukewarm food a miss for once.

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