Beef Wellington has been favourite dish for many years and its history goes back to the 19th Century.
Wrapping meat in pastry has been a favoured culinary technique in many countries for many years – the Cornish Pasty has been around since the 14th Century but it is generally agreed that Beef Wellington was created in celebration of the first Duke of Wellington on his victory at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
There is a mention of "fillet of beef, a la Wellington" in the Los Angeles Times of 1903, and an 1899 reference in a menu from the Hamburg-America line. It may be related to 'steig' or steak Wellington, an Irish dish (the Duke was from an Anglo-Irish family), but the dates for this are unclear.
Here is our Head Chef, Nathan Greensmith’s recipe for Beef Wellington
Ingredients - Duxelle
- 150g of button mushrooms, chopped
- 150g Wild Mushrooms
- 100g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 100ml of Madeira
- 4 tbsp of double cream
Fillet of Beef
- 800g of beef fillet, cleaned with sinew taken off
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 tbsp of English mustard
To Wrap the fillet
- 8 large spinach leaves
- 400g of puff pastry
- 8 Slices Parma Ham
For the Fillet of Beef
Season the beef fillet thoroughly with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and, once the pan is nice and hot, add the beef, sprinkling over the chopped thyme. Sear the fillet, turning it every 1-2 minutes to ensure that all sides are coloured. Remove the beef once the outside has browned but the centre is still rare. Coat with the English mustard and leave to rest in the fridge.
For the mushroom duxelle
Melt the butter in the same pan, then add the chopped mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Remove from the pan and leave to one side. Soften the chopped shallots and garlic in the same pan, then add the mushrooms back in and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the Madeira, bringing it to the boil and then reduce the amount of liquid by half. Add the cream and stir until the mixture has thickened and is beginning to darken. Season with salt and pepper and leave to one side.
Quickly blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water and then add to iced water to cool. Remove the leaves and ensure that they are dried thoroughly.
Place a sheet of cling film onto a board and lay 8 slices of Parma ham on it. Ensure that the Parma ham, fully covers the cling film, overlapping where necessary. Add a single layer of spinach leaves on top of the Parma ham and spread the mushroom duxelle evenly over the spinach. Lie the beef on top and wrap the Parma ham, spinach and mushrooms tightly around the fillet.
Leave in the fridge to rest, overnight if possible.
Roll out the puff pastry into a thin sheet about 1/4 cm thick – it will need to be rolled thinner if the pastry is pre- rolled.
Remove the wrapped beef from the fridge, take out of the cling film and place on top of the pastry. Brush the edges of the pastry with the egg wash, roll up and seal.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Cook the Wellington in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Once cooked, the pastry should be golden brown, and the internal temperature should be about 49-52°C. Remove the Wellington from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes.
Hope you enjoy!