This dish is a beauty but risky – there are lots of places where it could go wrong - look out for the tips!
- Preheat a fan oven to 180deg C.
- Heat up a frying pan to high heat with a little bit of oil. Quickly brown your fillet on all sides.
- Transfer to oven for 5 minutes roasting (leave this step out if you’re making individual fillets as they cook much quicker)
- In the same frying pan, melt your butter on a low to medium heat.
- Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute.
- Add the mushrooms and fry for 3-4 minutes.
- Add the herbs and season, stir and cook for 1 further minute take off the heat. Strain to remove any excess liquid (this will help avoid your pastry going soggy later).
- Keeping your pastry chilled until needed, lay your puff pastry out on the board (chopped into individual sections if making individual Wellingtons).
- If you have left over pastry, now is the time to cut out some strips or appropriate shapes to lay on your Beef Wellington for the occasion (maybe holly leaf for Christmas or a balloon or number for a birthday)!...
- Line a baking dish with baking paper. This next bit needs to be done quickly so have your beef, mushroom mix and pate ready to go.
- Spread the pate on the top of your beef fillet. Quickly spread your drained mushroom mix on the pastry to the rough shape of the fillet. Place the beef fillet upside down on top (so the pate touches the mushrooms). Quickly fold in the side edges tightly and then the top and the bottom, overlapping on top of the fillet to make a tight parcel.
- Turn it upside down carefully, lay on the baking paper-lined dish and quickly brush the surface with the whisked egg or double cream with a pastry brush.
- Pop in the oven for:
15-17 minutes for rare
20-23 minutes for medium
25-28 minutes for well done
Note: if making individual portions, you’ll have wrapped your raw fillet using the same process and then you’ll need to bake them for 15 minutes for rare, 20-25 minutes for medium, 25-30 for more well done
Leave to sit for 5-10 minutes, keeping it warm, before slicing it in fairly thick slices to serve.
- Try this with a red Bordeaux (St Emilion or Pomerol), good new world Merlot or Imperial Stout.
- Sharpen your knife before slicing the Wellington. The fillet should be soft to slice but the Wellington is a delicate dish and needs keeping together!
- Serving individual Wellingtons is really elegant and avoids messy presentation from cutting a large Wellington.
- If you want to guarantee a non-soggy pastry and you are cooking a big fillet, try this (but you'll need to do this a few hours before serving!): smear the duxelles first onto a thin pancake, sear you big fillet, wrap it in the pancake, roll this tightly in clicngfilm and leave it in the fridge for a few hours. When ready to bake, remove clingfilm and place the pancake-wrapped beef on the pastry, smear with pate. wrap and bake as per instructions above.