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Saturday, April 3, 2010

Beef Wellington

The first time I made this I was a little bit afraid, because I really thought that it was a bit too gourmet for me.  The fact is, when you have a ready-made puff pastry and you don't use the fancy ingredients, it all becomes very easy.  You can make various dishes from ready puff pastries that looks like gourmet food anyway.  I have never tried to make a real puff pastry at home, although I have probably made all other kinds of pastries.  There are even organic ones available in the supermarkets if you want the healthier option.  For this version of Beef Wellington,  I don't use the pâté de foie gras (chicken liver paste), which is called in the original recipes.  This one I have, is an adapted version of a recipe from my good old Swiss Betty Bossi cookbook Fleisch Küche.  I don't think there is an English version available, but I love this book.  It was recommended to me by my dear friend V. and I learned how to cook nice meat dishes from this book. 

600-700 g beef fillet
1 round or square puff pastry (you may need to cut bits out or trim it according to the size of your fillet- I used a round one here-33cm)
1 egg white - beaten
1 egg yolk - beaten together with a tablespoon of water
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil

300 gr of mushrooms - finely chopped. 
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of mild chili powder
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Start to make your filling by sautéing your mushrooms in a frying pan with the olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  When it's done, take it off the heat and add the chili powder and chopped herbs and leave it to cool.  
In another pan with a tablespoon of oil, cook your fillet for about 5 minutes on all sides until it forms a nice crust on the outside.  Take it out and leave it to cool for a while.  While the meat and your filling is cooling, prepare your pastry.  You can trim the ends if you have too much pastry like I had and then decorate your pastry parcel later on with these left over pastry bits.  Open the pastry on a baking paper.  It will make it easier to transfer on a baking tray later on.  If you are using a large try you can open the pastry directly on the baking tray.  

When it's ready, first spread the filling over your pastry and then put your meat on it.  Brush the ends of the pastry with the egg white so it can stick together when you wrap it up.  After this, wrap the meat up, turn the the parcel on its other side so that the folded part is at the bottom.  Move your parcel onto a baking tray.  Brush the top of the parcel with egg yolk and put it in the pre-heated oven on a bottom shelf at 220°C for 20 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180°C and roast for another 15 minutes.  In my case this resulted in medium to well-done meat.  If you like medium-rare then roast it for about 10 minutes less.   
For serving, I recommend some green salad and a glass of red wine.  Enjoy your meal! 

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