Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Beef Wellington

 Boeuf en croute or Beef wellington; a piece of tenderloin covered with pate, mushrooms and wrapped in a puff pastry, baked to perfection until a golden brown.

The French call it fillet de boeuf en croute, while the English have named this very French dish Beef Wellington; Legend has it that the Duke of Wellington had once proclaimed this to be his favourite French Meal, hence after the English won the Battle of Waterloo it was decided to label the dish after him!

Either way it is a delicious way of enjoying a good steak. The addition of strips of bacon is a further option. However it tastes just as superb without it.





A beef fillet cooked to perfection

Can serve 2 generously

It is essential to slice thickly to avoid it crumbling


4 to 6 servings
The picture above is off a smaller beef wellington than in the recipe below.

Beef wrapped in puff pastry
1 kg/2.2lb Beef
250gm/1/4lb Pate, at room temperature
1 tbsp Mustard
Salt  and pepper; freshly cracked.
A sheet of puff pastry; approximately 13x9 inches 33x22cms

Egg wash

Lightly beat an egg and add 2 tbsp some cold water.


Pat dry the piece of beef. Lightly season with mustard, salt and pepper. Leave aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out the sheet of puff pastry on it.

Apply the pate` all over the meat, roll it in the mushroom duxelle and place it on the puff pastry. Fold starting with the shorter sides, and bring the bottom side up, cover with top side to make it into an envelope. press it very lightly across the seam. Turn it over so the seam is down side. 
Brush all over with an egg wash.

Bake in a preheated oven of 400F/200C for 40 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing it. 

Serve it with a peppercorn sauce if you prefer.

Tips
The piece of beef should be like a roll. The best piece is from the center part of a tenderloin
(undercut). 
Prepare this while the meat is cold. It helps to retain the shape better. 
The pate is best at room temperature for easy application.
Working with puff pastry is best when chilled.
The egg wash is to 'glaze' the puff pastry; do not turn the pastry to brush the bottom side.

For more delicious recipes click

Niloufer's Kitchen: French Bistro from read.amazon.com

Peppercorn Sauce

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp salted butter
1 finely grated fresh clove of garlic ;optional
2 tbsp mixed french peppercorns; these are softer and come mixed in pinks, reds, grey and black
2 finely chopped shallots
4 cups of meat broth, boiled  and reduced to 2 cups
1/2 cup brandy or rum
1 1/2 cups cream at room temperature

Salt to taste

In a pan heat the oil and butter. Saute the shallots until soft. Drop in the peppercorns. Add the broth and allow it to simmer until reduced by half. Add the brandy or rum. Remove from the heat and add the cream stirring constantly.

Return to a very gentle heat to warm the sauce.

Tips

Gently heat the cream before adding it to the sauce
The brandy will make it sharp while the rum will give it a sweeter taste. Pick your preference accordingly.
If you like a smoother sauce ensure the shallots are very finely chopped.







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