The pie of all pies – Beef Wellington earns the cook serious brownie points, and is one package of pastry everyone wants a piece of.
Bake Off runner-up Richard Burr loves a beef Wellington and has created this amazing recipe. It’s so delicious that, after a night out, he and his wife Sarah once devoured the entire Wellington between them.
Give it a try – it’s actually much easier to make than you think.
How to make the ultimate beef Wellington
1kg good-quality beef fillet
2tbsp olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp vegetable oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
25g unsalted butter
225g button mushrooms
75ml white wine
1tsp thyme leaves
150g Parma ham
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 pack all butter puff pastry
1. Rub the beef with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to just smoking, then put the beef in; it will spit, but keep the beef moving so it doesn’t stick to the pan. Sear the beef on all sides until a rich brown colour forms (about 15 minutes). Reduce the heat to low, and set the beef aside to cool.
3. Put the shallots in the pan with the butter and half a teaspoon more each of salt and pepper, and cook until they are translucent.
4. Put the mushrooms in a food processor with the wine and blitz until smooth. Scrape into the frying pan. Cook for 5-10 minutes to expel some of the moisture, stirring the whole time. Once the mushrooms resemble a fine paste, stir in the thyme, take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool.
5. Lay two large sheets of cling film on a work surface, overlapping each other by about 5cm, to make a large square. Lay out the Parma ham in a rectangle (about 35 x 30cm), overlapping the slices. Using a small palette knife or a table knife, spread the reduced mushrooms over the ham, covering it totally.
6. Lay the beef in the middle of the mushroom/Parma ham rectangle and gently lift two corners of the cling film up to roll half the ham over the meat. Flatten the ham down with your hands and peel the cling film away to lie back down on the work surface.
7. Roll the other half of Parma ham over the beef in the same way. You should now have the beef totally wrapped in mushrooms and ham.
8. Fold the ends of the Parma ham neatly and roll up the cling film tightly so that it looks like a massive shiny sausage. Twist the ends of the cling film to seal the Wellington together and put in the fridge for one hour.
9. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a baking tray and take the wrapped beef and chilled puff pastry out of the fridge.
10. Roll the pastry out to 35 x 30cm and peel the cling film off the beef. Gently lay the beef in the centre of the pastry. Put the beef on upside down: it should have a flattish surface that formed while it was in the fridge; this needs to be facing up.
11. Fold the pastry over the beef and stick together by liberally painting with beaten egg. Fold the loose ends over, too, and stick down with beaten egg.
12. Roll the Wellington over on to the baking tray, so the seams of pastry are now on the bottom, and the top surface is smooth.
13. Paint the remaining beaten egg over the pastry, then slash the pastry quite deeply (but not all the way through) with a sharp knife. Put in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
14. Take the Wellington from the fridge. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown, then take out and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will give you a medium-rare Wellington, so if you like it cooked more or less, adjust the time to your taste.
Which pie will you be making for British Pie Week? Let us know in the Comments section.