14 May 2013

Daring Cooks - Beef Wellington

Our lovely Monkey Queen of Don’t Make Me Call My Flying Monkeys was our May Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to dive into the world of en Croute! We were encouraged to make Beef Wellington, Stuffed Mushroom en Croute and to bring our kids into the challenge by encouraging them to create their own en Croute recipes!

This challenge was the boost I needed to try out a dish I had heard and read about but never tried myself :  Beef Wellington.  I made this dish for my parents on Mother's Day and it met with success at the dining table. So I think it is not the last time, this piece of beef will be prepared in my kitchen :o)

The challenge sheet provided a recipe for Beef Wellington but as our hostess allowed any variation as long as it was an "en croute" dish, I opted for a recipe I encountered on youtube a while back : Gordon Ramsey's Christmas interpretation of Beef Wellington.

I did stray from this recipe though : I choose not to incorporate the chestnuts as (a) they are no longer in season and (b) I am not a huge fan of chestnuts, let alone those of the canned variety.

Ingredients (serves 4)

* 800g beef
* 500g mushrooms
* 1 garlic clove
* 1 onion
* mustard
* a sheet of puff pastry
* 6 slices of raw dry ham (prociutto type)
* 1 eggyolk
* salt & pepper
* a sprig of thyme

Preparation :

Heat your oven to 200°C.

Season a piece of beef with salt and pepper.  Pour a bit of olive oil in a skillet and sear the beef on all sides. Remove from the heat and while the beef is still hot, brush the whole surface some mustard.  I used old style grainy mustard but you could use any type you like.  Set aside.

While the beef is cooling, pulse-chop 500g mushrooms, with a garlic clove and a medium sized onion in a food processor. Heat about 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large pan and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat, with some fresh thyme, for about 10 mins stirring often, until all the excess moisture has evaporated. Remove the mushroom duxelle from the pan to cool.

Pull a sheet of cling film over a large chopping board. Lay the slices prosciutto on the cling film, slightly overlapping, in a double row. Season with pepper.  As the ham is already cured, salt is not necessary. Spread the duxelles over the prosciutto, leaving a couple of cms between the duxelles and the edge of the prociutto and sit the beef on it. Use the cling film's edges to draw the prosciutto around the beef, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends of cling film to tighten it as you go. Chill the meat for 15 minutes.

Pull out another sheet of cling film over your chopping board and spread out a piece of (chilled) puff pastry over it. I used ready made, storebought puff pastry but if you have time, you can of course make your own.  Take the beef out of the fridge, remove the clingfilm and place it on the pastry.  Roll the pastry over the beef until the ends meet. Trim off any excess pastry and tightly seal the edges so that the meat is completely encased.  Thightly wrap the beef in the clingfilm and allow to set in the fridge for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from the fridge.  Glaze the pastry with some eggwash and score the Beef Wellington with a sharp knife,  taking care not to cut into the pastry.

Cook in the preheated oven until golden and crisp. The medium-rare beef I made (pictured), stayed in the oven for 30 minutes. Choose your oven time according to your desired level of doneness, but do keep in mind that the puff pastry would need at least 25 mins to bake.

Allow to stand for 10 mins before serving in thick slices.

Dared to make Beef Wellington? Challenge accepted.


  1. Beautiful job! Your beef wellington looks utterly perfect, and I am sure it tasted that way, too! :)