This beef wellington is the first in the series of recipes I am learning to make with my Mum. I am staying with Mum and Dad at the moment while my bathroom is renovated and am using the opportunity to learn how to cook some of my favourite childhood meals and share them with you. They are often not single serves so I am going to spread them out a bit so that I am still sharing great meals for one with you, though you will get two meals from my Mum this week. I should also say up front this is most definitely not low calorie nor particularly quick to make.
Beef wellington might seem like a weird childhood food but I have always loved it. I was not a child who shied away from pate – which this version of beef wellington contains. I hated meat pies as a child and maybe this seemed like a great alternative for eating pastry. I have very strong memories of eating a dodgy minced meat pie and throwing it up all over the dining room table, much to my mother’s horror. I am sure it was just super fatty and I can’t stomach meat fat unless it is in the form of extra crunchy crackling or bacon rind. But since that day I don’t think I have touched a plain meat pie. I have progressed a bit and can now eat curry beef pie and I do eat pies like steak and kidney pie. But I just can’t go near that plain minced beef pie. Do you have any childhood food horror stories? It also gets me thinking about over indulging in certain alcohols in my late teens/early twenties….
One cooking trick of my Mum’s that I am not planning on adding to my repertoire is peeling mushrooms. Mum can’t explain why but she has picked up from her mother that you should peel the top of the mushroom before you cook it. No way am I wasting good time doing this. I have done a bit of research on this whole peeling mushrooms thing and it may have something to do with presentation and what mushrooms are sometimes grown in. From my reading you may or may not be removing the most nutritious part if you peel. There is also some debate on whether you should wash or brush your mushrooms. This highly scientific research is what I am going with as it says wash if you want to.
Does you Mum have any cooking habits that you can’t explain?
While this recipe is for 3 people, because they are individual beef wellingtons, you could easily reduce this and just make a single serve, though you will have wastage from the puff pastry. I love individual servings of things. Individual pot pies are another favourite of mine as are these triple berry crumbles. There is just something appealing about small pots!
You will also see two different looking beef wellingtons in the photo – one using Mum’s rolled method and the second one where Mum tried out Gordon Ramsey’s technique for the pastry where you put a piece of pastry on the tray and then take another piece, drape it over the beef and stick the two pieces together with egg yolk. I personally thought they tasted very similar and Mum’s is less work.
The wellingtons are just lovely. You bite in to the crisp pastry and then hit some lovely soft tasty mushrooms mixed with a perfectly cut piece of beef. I just wish I had thought to share with you a photo of the cooked wellington cut down the middle. Next time!
Oh and you will see from the recipe that Mum uses malmsey in her recipe. If you can’t get this then the very helpful man at the lovely wine shop suggested tokay or sweet sherry as an alternative.
- 3 pieces of beef fillet - about 80 grams, trimmed of any fat
- salt and pepper
- 8 white mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 25g butter
- 1/4 cup of Malmsey + extra 1/4 cup of Malmsey for gravy
- 3 Tbs liver pate
- 1/4 cup of beef stock
- Olive oil spray
- 2 sheets of puff pastry
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbs gravy flour
- Heat the oven to 180 celcius (360 fahrenheit)
- Cook beef fillet on high in a skillet until all sides are seared, about 4-5 minutes.
- Put the beef in fridge to cool.
- While the beef is cooling, melt the butter on a medium heat in a small skillet.
- Pop the mushrooms in with the butter and the first 1/4 cup of malmsey and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Season the beef with salt and pepper and spread with pate and mushrooms.
- Once the mushrooms have been removed from the pan, deglaze it with the second cup of Malmsey and the cup of beef stock to make the gravy. Set aside.
- Cut the pastry into four pieces, once piece isn't used so maybe have a look for a small pie recipe to use it.
- Wrap the fillet in the pastry to form a parcel.
- Put on an oiled baking tray and glaze with the egg yolk. Cut two small slits in the top of each parcel.
- Put the seam of the parcel on the bottom of the pan, using the egg glaze to seal the seam.
- Put the wellingtons in the oven for 30 minutes.
- When the wellingtons are nearly done, reheat the gravy in the pan and put in a gravy boat so everyone can add the amount of gravy they want.