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Nice cuisson (fortunately)

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So this time we decided that I should go big.  On one trip to Bordeaux we went to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant and I had beef wellington.  So this was definitely a more adventurous dish for me to try as far as preparation compared to prior dishes.  The challenge is fun though especially when there are parts that you have never done before.  Having to create a sauce and reduce it down was interesting to see how it turned out.

Here is the prep before putting the beef back into the fridge to chill.  This is to help mould it together before being wrapped with the pastry.

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I think the pastry turned out well.

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The end result turned out really well and I was a bit surprised it was as good given that it is a bit more work and trickier than anything I had done before.

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Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 200g/7oz beef fillets
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g/8oz mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 thyme sprig, leaves only
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 4 slices of Parma ham
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the red wine sauce: (this makes more than you need but freezes beautifully)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 500ml / 2 cups red wine
  • 250ml / 1 cup beef stock

Preparation:

  1. Wrap each piece of beef tightly in a layer of cling film to set its shape, then chill overnight.
  2. Remove the cling film, then quickly sear the beef fillets in a hot pan with a little olive oil for 30-60 seconds until browned all over and rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  3. Finely chop the mushrooms and sauté in a hot pan with a little olive oil, the thyme leaves and some seasoning. Continue to cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a mushroom paste. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
  4. Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface and place 2 slices of Parma ham in the middle, overlapping them slightly, to make a cross. Spread half the mushrooms evenly over the ham.
  5. Season the beef fillets, then place them on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the cling film, roll the Parma ham over the beef, then roll and tie the cling film to get a nice, evenly thick log. Repeat this step with the other beef fillet, then chill for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the pastry sheet into 2 rectangles.
  7. Remove the cling film from the beef, then wrap the pastry around each ham-wrapped fillet. Trim the pastry then chill for 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, make the red wine sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the beef trimmings for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Stir in the shallots with the peppercorns, bay and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn golden brown.
  9. Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry. Now add the wine and boil until almost completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to the boil again. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, until you have the desired consistency. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Check for seasoning and set aside.
  10. When you are ready to cook the beef wellingtons, score the pastry lightly and brush with the egg wash, then bake at 200°C/400F for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  11. Meanwhile, reheat the sauce. Serve the beef wellingtons sliced, with the sauce as an accompaniment.
  12. Enjoy!
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