How to make a beef wellington
Learn how to perfect this impressive classic with Nick Deverell-Smith’s step-by-step guide to succulent beef and flaky pastry.
- Drizzle the beef with some of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a wide, deep frying pan over a high heat and, when very hot, sear the beef, turning to brown the meat all over.
- Remove from the pan, put on a chopping board and rub all over with the horseradish and English mustard, then set aside to cool.
- In the same pan in which you cooked the beef, heat the butter over a medium heat and cook until it turns nut brown. Add all the chopped mushrooms and chestnuts and fry over a high heat, stirring constantly, until all the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated (this will take about 20 minutes).
- Add the orange zest and juice and brandy, then cook over a high heat for a few minutes, stirring, until all the liquid has evaporated again.
- Tip the mix into a large bowl and stir in the chopped sage and breadcrumbs. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then leave to cool.
- Once the mushroom mixture and the beef have cooled, pat the mushroom mix generously all over the beef fillet, fully coating the whole surface of the meat.
- Roll out the pastry on a well floured surface to form a large rectangle the thickness of a pound coin.Make sure it’s long enough for the beef to sit lengthways with 4-5cm spare pastry at either end and wide enough to enclose the fillet.
- Lift the coated beef (it needs to be completely cool) onto the pastry, placing it lengthways in the centre. Fold one long side of the pastry over the meat, then brush the pastry top with a little beaten egg. Fold over the other side of the pastry to fully encase the meat and press the pastry down gently to seal.
- Press the edges together at both ends to seal the fillet in the pastry, then trim off any excess, leaving a 2cm pastry edge.
- Crimp the edge with a fork to decorate. Put the beef wellington on the lined baking tray, then brush with beaten egg. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/ gas 6½. Bake the wellington in the oven for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed and a digital probe thermometer pushed into the centre reads 52-56°C for rare. For medium, cook for 35-40 minutes or until 57-59°C and well done for 50 minutes or 60-63°C. Rest the wellington for 10 minutes, then scatter with fried sage leaves (if you like), slice and serve with veg.