- November 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, oven time 30-50 min, plus chilling
”For the best flavour, take the time to cook the chopped mushrooms properly and buy the best beef you can. Use a meat thermometer and you can guarantee the meat inside will be juicy, tender and pink while the pastry crust is crisp and golden.” – Nick Deverell-Smith
- 36.1g (16.8g saturated)
- 43.1g protein
- 37.3g (3.8g sugars)
- 900g-1kg British grass-fed beef fillet, at room temperature
- Olive oil for frying
- 25g creamed horseradish
- 25g English mustard
- 65g unsalted butter
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
- 250g flat mushrooms, finely chopped
- 100g cooked, peeled chestnuts (we used Merchant Gourmet whole chestnuts, available from large supermarkets and good delis), finely chopped
- Finely grated zest and juice
- 1 orange
- 50ml brandy
- 4 fresh sage sprigs, leaves finely chopped, plus extra to garnish (optional)
- 70g fresh breadcrumbs
- 375g block all-butter puff pastry
- Plain flour for dusting
- 1 medium free-range egg, beaten
You’ll also need…
- Baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper, plus a digital probe thermometer
- 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.
Ask your butcher for the centre of the fillet, which will give the wellington an even thickness and appearance. If you have a food processor, pulse it to finely chop the mushrooms and chestnuts to speed up the process. We served the wellington for the photo shoot topped with sage leaves fried in a little olive oil.
Make the wellington up to the end of step 5, up to 12 hours ahead, then cover and chill until ready to bake. Glaze with beaten egg just before baking. If you prefer, you can make the various stages up to 24 hours ahead, but don’t assemble it then as the pastry will start to discolour. Brown the beef, make the duxelles (fried mushrooms), then wrap separately in cling film and store in the fridge (wrapping the fillet tightly helps it keep its shape). Roll out the pastry and assemble just before baking.
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