Monday, August 27, 2012

Beef Wellington

This dish is often avoided by the home cook because it is perceived to be complicated to prepare. It really isn’t—it is much less time-consuming and complicated than stuffing and roasting a turkey, for example. If you like succulent, tender, tasty beef and want something a bit more formal and impressive to serve your family or guests, this is the dish for you!

1 chunk of beef fillet weighing approximately 1 kg (2.2 lbs), aged in your refrigerator for 10 to 14 days
1 packet phyllo dough or puff pastry (phyllo dough preferred), thawed
1 onion finely minced
½ to 1 cup minced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1-2 tsp Fines Herbes
½ to ¾ cup soft, spreadable chicken liver paté (can be vegetable if you don’t like liver)
Olive oil
Salt to taste
Shallow bowl of cold water

Preheat oven to 220˚C (425˚F)
While oven heats, prepare meat: rinse under cold running water and pat dry. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place on a rack in a small oven pan and when oven is up to temperature, put meat in centre of oven. Allow to cook for 15 minutes to sear the outside. Remove from oven after fifteen minutes and set aside. Increase oven to 230˚C (450˚F).

While meat is cooking prepare duxelles:
Melt some butter in a skillet and add mushrooms, onion, ginger, herbs, salt and sauté, stirring constantly. When onions become transparent, add garlic and cook for another minute. Remove from stove and set aside to cool slightly.

Spray the bottom of a baking dish with non-stick spray or brush lightly with olive oil. Unroll dough and lay in the bottom of the dish with excess overhanging the sides. Set aside.

Mix the paté with the duxelles until thoroughly blended. Spread about ⅓ of the mixture on the dough in a rectangular shape large enough to make a base for the meat.

Remove meat from roasting pan without piercing it—use tongs or your hands—and place on top of the spread mixture. Now spread the rest of the mixture on the meat, including over the sides.

Fold up the sides of the dough to cover the meat, using cold water spread with your fingers to seal the edge. Now fold the ends of the dough to fully encase the meat, also sealing with the fingers and cold water.

Place in a 230˚C (450˚F) oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 220˚C (425˚F) (leave oven door open until the temperature reduces). Cook for another 10 minutes for medium-rare or 15 minutes for medium. (Beef Wellington should always be served pink in the middle).

Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve with horseradish sauce on the side.