beef Wellington noun

A dish consisting of beef coated in pâté and wrapped in puff pastry.

Rustic is the word...

This post is a bit of a cheat in that I actually made the Wellington last year, so forgive me if I'm vague on some of the details. My wife and I went to the Savoy Grill to celebrate a birthday and we both ordered the beef Wellington. We enjoyed it very much, but I wanted to see if I could approximate it at home. I found a recipe from Gordon Ramsey on the Internet. It's different from versions that he has in his book. In some cases, he uses a pancake to wrap the beef fillet (as they do in the Savoy Grill) and in other cases, he uses a mushroom mixture.

This recipe uses a mushroom mixture. With hindsight, I would now use this version, where he also gives a recipe for an accompanying sauce. That said we didn't need gravy.

Beef Wellington (Gordon Ramsey)

400g mushrooms
Approx 750g beef fillet
Slices of Parma ham - enough to wrap the fillet
500g puff pastry - a large sheet from the supermarket will suffice
1-2 egg yolks

I obtained my fillet from Borough Market, where the butchers always seem to have stock. In order to get this right you need to concentrate and keep your wits about you. The first thing to do is make the mushroom pate surround. Finely chop the mushrooms and pulse them into a paste in a food processor. This paste needs to be cooked on a high heat until the moisture has gone. Ramsey says 10 minutes. On my weak and feeble gas hob, it took longer. In fact, I'd say it took twice as long. You need to get the moisture out - the mushrooms are going to stop the juice from the meat getting into the pastry. Once they are done, remove from the pan and let them cool.

Season the beef with salt and pepper and seat it all over in a hot pan. This is just to sear it and so sear for a maximum of 30 seconds on each side, before removing it and leaving it to cool.

On a sheet of cling film, lay out the Parma ham, then spread the mushroom paste over it. Now before putting the fillet onto the mixture, the recipe says to cover it with a thin layer of mustard - I forgot and the result wasn't massively different. I suppose the mushroom pate will stick to the fillet better. Anyway mustard or not, put the fillet in the middle of the mixture and roll it up to form a barrel. This goes into the fridge to build shape for about 20 minutes.

The oven needs to be at 200 C. I can't remember if I lowered it to compensate for a fan assisted oven. Anyway, get the thing heating up.

Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle, remove the cling film and put the beef architecture in the middle. Use the beaten egg yolks as glue and wrap the pastry around the beef. With the seam on the bottom, place on a baking sheet. Egg wash the lot and let it chill for 15 minutes to let everything rest.

Score the pastry and glaze it again. Actually, I don't remember doing this a second time. I probably glazed it once, knowing me. Put it all in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower to 180 C for another 15 minutes. It needs to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing it and serving.

During the rest time, steam some green beans and make mashed potato. I used crème fraîche and butter.

Now onto the results. The beef came out pink in the centre but not totally rare. There was an escape of juice on the bottom of the wellington but actually, it didn't matter. In our opinion, my Wellington was almost as good as the one we had in the Savoy. So thanks to Gordon we had two good Wellingtons last year!