Celebrity chefs seem to be all about the beef Wellington, but don’t let that scare you into not trying to cook it on your own. Try for a tastily homely version of the famous dish with this recipe, best served on big days like Christmas.
- 1 kg beef fillet
- 50 g butter
- 12 slices prosciutto
- 3 tbsps olive oil
- 1 large sprig fresh thyme
- 500 g pack puff pastry
- 100 ml dry white wine
- Flour, for dusting
- 250 g mushroom, roughly chopped
- 2 egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water
Preheat oven to 220 C. Sit the beef fillet on a roasting tray, brush with 1 tbsp olive oil and season with pepper, then roast for 15 mins for medium-rare or 20 mins for medium.
When the beef is cooked to your liking, remove from the oven to cool, then chill in the fridge for about 20 mins.
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and butter in a large pan and fry the mushrooms on medium heat, with thyme, for about 10 mins, stirring often, until you have a softened mixture.
Add the dry white wine and cook for about 10 mins until all the wine has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Blend with a food processor until just fine*. Allow the mushroom duxelle to cool and discard the thyme.
*Do not over blend or it’ll be too mushy. The mixture should hold its shape when stirred.
Overlap two pieces of cling film over a large chopping board. Arrange the prosciutto on the cling film, slightly overlapping, in a double row.
Spread half the duxelles over the prosciutto, then sit the fillet on it and spread the remaining duxelles over.
Use the cling film’s edges to draw the prosciutto around the fillet, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of cling film to tighten it as you go. Refrigerate while you prepare the pastry.
Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll out or cut to a 18 x 30-cm strip and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Add another pastry sheet to about 28 x 36-cm.
Carefully untwist the fillet from the cling film and sit it in the centre of the smaller strip of pastry. Beat the 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water and brush the pastry’s edges, and the top and sides of the wrapped fillet.
Using a rolling pin, carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing well into the sides. Trim the joins to about a 4-cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle.
Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the beef Wellington with long diagonal lines taking care not to cut into the pastry. Chill for at least 30 mins and up to 24 hours.
Heat oven to 200 C. Brush the Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook until golden and crisp — 20 to 25 mins for medium-rare beef, 30 mins for medium. Allow to stand for 10 mins before serving in thick slices.