Give it some Wellington with this favourite
Andrew Maxwell of the Tante Marie Cookery School loves this classic
BEEF Wellington is probably one of the most quintessentially British dishes there is.
However, there is much debate about its origins. At the time of the Iron Duke, meat wrapped in pastry was already a well-established cuisine so there is no specific evidence linking it to the Duke of Wellington.
There are also stories about decorating the ‘parcel’ with little pastry stripes to resemble his boots. Well, in fact, ‘Wellington’s boots’ didn’t have these decorations! All that is clear is that it is a delicious dish. Here is our take on it.”
250g puff pastry 4x 150g fillet steaks
For the duxelle:
350g mushrooms, finely chopped 50g butter 1tbsp oil 1 onion, finely chopped 2 shallots, finely chopped salt and black pepper nutmeg To serve: Baby vegetables Port sauce
For the Port sauce:
30g butter 2 shallots, finely chopped 50g dried mixed mushrooms, soaked in 300ml water 100g button mushrooms, finely sliced 50g blackcurrants 350ml ruby port finely grated zest ¼ of an orange 200ml veal stock salt and black pepper
Melt 20g of the butter in a small saucepan, add the shallots and sweat until soft. Drain the soaked mushrooms and reserve 100ml of
the soaking liquid. Add the soaked mushrooms, the button mushrooms and blackcurrants to the softened shallots and cook gently for 3-4 minutes. Pour in the port, add the orange zest and reduce by a third. Add the stock and reserved mushroom liquid and simmer for 25 minutes, skimming the surface when necessary. Pass the sauce through a conical sieve, whisk in the remaining butter, taste and season. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 220ºC.
To make the duxelle:
Squeeze the mushrooms in a cloth to extract as much moisture as possible. Melt the butter and oil in a small saucepan, add the finely chopped onion and shallots and cook gently until tender. Add the mushrooms, salt and black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg and cook over a moderate heat, stirring all the time until the mushrooms are tender and the moisture has evaporated. Put on a plate to cool. Cut off about a quarter of the pastry and roll into a rectangle just large enough to go underneath the four fillet steaks. Rest for a couple of minutes, then cut into 4 pieces. Prick each piece of pastry carefully with a fork and chill on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Bake until highly coloured and cooked through. Spread each pastry base with a quarter of the cold duxelle mixture, leaving a small border all around the edges. Roll the remaining pastry into a large rectangle covering all the steaks. Divide into four pieces, then using a lattice cutter firmly cut each piece with the design. Moisten the edges of the pastry with beaten egg. Place the meat on top of the duxelle, wrap the pastry around the entire parcel and seal the edges. Place on a baking sheet with the join underneath and brush with beaten egg. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Cook until golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Serve at once with baby vegetables and port sauce.