You can go all-out gourmet with this beef Wellington by coating the beef in foie gras or veganise it with a filling of mushrooms and lentils.
SERVES 10 // COOKING TIME 45 min
500 g portabellini mushrooms, finely chopped
⅓ cup Port
½ onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp thyme
500 g baby spinach
800 g beef fillet, trimmed
2 tbsp English mustard
1 roll puff pastry
3 egg yolks
1 tsp water
Pinch sea salt
1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms until the liquid has cooked away, about 20 minutes.
2. Add the Port and simmer for 5–10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed.
3. Heat some more olive oil in a separate pot and sauté the onion, garlic and thyme until soft. Add this to the mushrooms, then remove from the heat and set aside.
4. Place the spinach in a colander. Pour boiling water over it, then immediately pour over cold water to stop the cooking. Squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Lay the leaves flat between clean tea towels. Set aside.
5. Season the beef well with salt and pepper and sear in a very hot pan for about 3 minutes. Brush with mustard and set aside.
6. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Cut into a 35 × 45 cm rectangle. Lay out on a lined baking tray and rest in the fridge.
7. Arrange the spinach in an even rectangle on a layer of cling film. Top with an even layer of the mushroom mixture. Lay the beef fillet across it horizontally.
8. Using the cling film to help you, roll up the beef with the spinach as tight as possible. Wrap and seal in the cling film, and freeze for 30 minutes.
9. Whisk yolks and water, brush over rested pastry.
10. Remove the cling film from the beef roll and lay it down on the pastry, 5 cm from the edge. Roll it up tightly in the pastry, trim the edges and press down the seam to seal. Crimp the edges closed and cut away any excess pastry. Brush all over with egg wash.
11. Refrigerate for 1 hour, then brush with more egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt.
12. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Bake for 40–45 minutes, until golden brown all over. Allow the beef Wellington to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe: Nicola Naudé
Styling: Chiara Turilli
Photography: Samantha Pinto // HMimages.co.za
Speaking of beef and pastry – this beef and leek pie is another favourite.