Saturday, 7 January 2017

Showstopping beef wellington.

New years eve was a very different affair for us this year. Due to the lack of alcohol and the fact that I am usually asleep by 10pm nowadays we decided to stay in and cook a special meal to ring in 2017.

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Usually we'd be partying until the wee hours, especially on new year's eve, the majority of our friends are still partying regularly and it's hard not to feel a tad left out, so you've got to treat yourself haven't you?!

Beef wellington is what we went for, we've always wanted to give it a go and it did not disappoint. We bought a Chateaubriand from the butcher just before Christmas and kept it in the freezer whilst we went away. 800g is what we asked for to feed four of us and that ended up with four generous slices and a bit extra for the extra hungry husband and my dad who was blown away by it and hasn't stopped talking about it since. The price was £35.00 so it's definitely for a special occasion, not just a normal Saturday night.

It was a bit daunting to cook such an expensive piece of meat but surprisingly easy and now we have done it once I would definitely feel confident doing it again.

We did it using a hybrid of Jamie Oliver's recipe and advice from the brother in law who is a chef and has made many wellingtons in his time.

Serve with super garlicky Dauphinoise potatoes, a red wine and onion gravy and some fancy broccoli.

(For 4-5 people)
800g Chataubriand (fillet of beef)
Chopped fresh rosemary
Rock salt
Black pepper
1 packet of mixed mushrooms
1 packet of chicken livers
1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg
1 packet of serrano ham

So basically we just simplified the other recipes we had seen and tried to make it fool proof. We prepped it all in the morning and then just put it in the oven in the evening, no stress!

1. Chop the mushrooms and chicken livers into small pieces and fry with a small amount of oil until most of the moisture is gone - this is important to avoid a soggy bottom. Then transfer these to a chopping board or baking tray spread them out and let them cool completely.
2. Take the meat out of the fridge about an hour before cooking, Roll it in rock salt, pepper and the chopped rosemary and then sear the meat in a hot frying pan for about 5 minutes in total, ensuring all of the sides have begun to brown. Then, again, transfer to a chopping board and leave to cool completely, important to keep the meat tender and also avoid a soggy bottom, some of the juices will escape whilst cooling.
3. When the meat has cooled you can now assemble! Put the puff pastry on a baking tray and cover with your chicken liver/mushroom mixture, ensure you leave about a 3 inch gap at the bottom to seal the pastry.
4. Wrap the beef in the serrano ham, ensuring there are no gaps (as best you can)
5. Place the beef wrapped in ham at the top of the pastry and use the baking paper that it comes in to help you roll the beef down the pastry.
6. Brush some egg onto the gap you have left and press this onto the outside of the pastry sealing it in.
7. Crimp the sides like  a Christmas cracker, egg wash the entire thing and then put in the fridge on a baking paper lined baking tray until you are almost ready to cook.
8. Take out of the fridge at least an hour before you cook it, it has to be room temp.
9. Put baking tray on the hob and heat the bottom up to cook the pastry (Soggy bottom mitigation) for 4 minutes.
10. Put in the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes at 190 fan.

Seriously, that's it.

Here are some pics I took along the way...

 And here's the money shot!!

Hope you can give it a go! Any one else got any other show stoppers they can recommend?

Emma x

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