Individual Beef Wellington with Red Wine Sauce
Treat yourself with this decedent dinner party recipe of tender beef fillet enclosed in pate, prosciutto, mushrooms and buttery puff pastry. Nothing says 'special occasion' quite like a traditional beef Wellington. It's pure pleasure on a plate.
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For the mushroom stuffing
55g/2oz unsalted butter
150g/5oz shallots, peeled and finely diced
250g/9oz flat mushrooms, chopped
3 tbsp double cream
salt and pepper
For the pancakes
3 free-range eggs
6 tbsp plain flour
150ml/5fl oz milk
unsalted butter, for frying
For the Wellingtons
Olive oil, for frying
4 x 300g/10½oz beef fillet steak
freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp English mustard
4 slices prosciutto
1 packet ready-made puff pastry, rolled to 5mm thick
1 free-range egg plus 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten together
For the red wine sauce
1 shallot, peeled, finely chopped
110ml/4fl oz red wine
200ml/7fl oz beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the buttered spinach
400g/14oz baby spinach leaves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
For the carrots
175ml/6fl oz water
1. To make the mushroom stuffing, add the butter to a large frying pan and when hot and foaming, add the shallots and cook until softened and golden. Add the mushrooms and cook until all the liquid evaporates.
2. Add the cream, salt and pepper. Continue to gently heat until it has reduced to a thick purée. Set aside to cool completely.
3. For the pancakes, whisk together the eggs and flour in a bowl until smooth and well combined. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the batter is the same as single cream, you might not need all of the milk.
4. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add a ladleful of the pancake batter and swirl the pan to evenly coat the base. Fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the underside is golden-brown. Carefully flip the pancake over and cook for a further minute, or until the pancake is cooked through and golden-brown all over. Slide the pancake out onto a plate lined with greaseproof paper, then cover with another layer of paper. Repeat with the remaining pancake batter to make 4 pancakes.
5. For the Wellingtons, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until hot. Season the fillet steaks with freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with thyme, then sear in the hot frying pan for 2-3 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown all over. Set aside. When cool all over with the mustard.
6. Cut the puff pastry into 4 equal squares and lay a pancake on each piece, followed by a slice of prosciutto. Spread with the pate over the prosciutto then add the cooled mushrooms stuffing. Place the fillet steak in the centre, then fold the pastry over to cover. Fold up the edges to completely seal the steak in the pastry. Turn the Wellingtons over so that the seam is on the bottom and place onto a baking sheet.
7. Brush the Wellingtons with half of the beaten egg, then chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
8. Remove the Wellingtons from the fridge and brush once more with the egg wash. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden-brown and crisp. (Cook for a further 20-25 minutes if you prefer the beef to be well done, covering the pastry with aluminium foil if it browns too quickly.) Remove from the oven and set aside to rest.
9. For the red wine sauce, heat a pan until hot and add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the shallots and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add the red wine to the pan and bring to the boil. Cook until the wine has reduced in volume by half. Add the beef stock, bring back to the boil and cook until the liquid has reduced in volume by half again. Season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
10. For the buttered spinach, heat a frying pan until hot and add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg.
11. For the carrots, heat another pan and add the butter, the baby carrots and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender. Season to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
12. To serve, slice the Wellington in half on the diagonal. Spoon the buttered spinach onto serving plates and top with the Wellington slices. Spoon the carrots alongside and drizzle the sauce around the plate.
v This recipe seems long and complicated but you make everything in stages so there is no pressure. You can also prepare everything in advance so you are not away from your guests for much time at all.
v To save time you can use shop bought pate & shop bought pancakes.