Beef Wellington

January 2022

2 cups (300g) plain flour
2 eggs
2½ cups (625ml) milk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon
50g butter, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil
500g small beef bones
2 eschallots, thinly sliced
6 black peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic, bruised
1 bay leaf
80ml port
200ml red wine
500ml veal stock
80ml veal glace
40g chopped butter

Mushroom filling
80g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tlbs (40ml) olive oil
30g butter, chopped
2 eschallots, finely chopped
200g swiss brown mushrooms, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Beef Fillet
500g beef fillet
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 large sheet puff pastry approx (30 X 32cm)
Eggwash: 3 egg yolks mixed with a pinch of salt
4-5 slices Iberico Ham


For the crepes, sift flour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add the eggs and a quarter of the milk. Whisk vigorously from the middle incorporating the flour, add a little more milk and continue to whisk to form a smooth thick batter, whisk in the remaining milk and melted butter to form a loose smooth batter the consistency of thick cream.  Set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Stir in herbs.
Heat a little chopped butter in a large non-stick frying pan, Ladle some of the crepe batter into the pan and quickly swirl around to cover the base to make a crepe about 25cm in diameter. Cook until the crepe is a slight golden brown, turn over and cook until golden. Remove from the pan and set aside. Repeat using the remaining mixture. You must have at least 4 crepes.

Meanwhile, start the sauce. Preheat the oven to 200C. Place a non stick roasting pan onto the stove top over a moderate heat, add oil and the beef bones, colour evenly, place into the oven for 20 minutes until caramelized and golden. Remove from the oven and tip the bones into a colander to drain away excess fat.

For the mushroom filling. Place dried mushrooms in a bowl and add just enough boiling water to cover, stand 15 minutes, drain. Rinse under running water to remove grit.
Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add eschallots, fresh mushrooms and garlic, cook until soft and golden. Stir in re-hydrated mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Tip the mushrooms into a colander allow to cool to room temperature. Process mushroom mixture, parsley, tarragon and mustard in a food processor until finely chopped but not a paste.

For the beef fillet. Season the beef fillet with salt and pepper. Heat a lightly greased large frying pan, add beef and cook until all sides are well browned. Set aside to cool. Brush with the Dijon mustard.

To assemble the Beef Wellington. Preheat oven to 200C.
Place a 40cm length of baking paper on bench top. Lay the Iberico ham slices slightly overlapping onto paper. Place an even layer of mushroom mixture over the ham slices, then place the beef fillet on top. Roll over to encase the beef tightly. Square off two sides of each crepe. Lay crepes, slightly overlapping on bench top, top with beef roll and roll to encase tightly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Rest in the freezer for 10 minutes, making sure it is cool and firm making it easier to handle. Remove plastic wrap from beef roll, place beef roll in the centre of the pastry sheet. Cut four small corners out of the pastry so it creates a large thick cross shape, ensuring it is long enough on all sides to enclose the fillet completely. Carefully lift side flaps of pastry up over the beef roll so they just overlap, trimming as necessary. Seal with egg wash. Carefully lift remaining pastry flaps, so they just overlap, trimming as necessary. Seal with egg wash. Place on a baking paper-lined non stick roasting tray, making sure that the seam is at the bottom. With extra pastry, cut a 6cm disc and place in center of beef roll. Cut a 1cm whole in top of pastry for air.. Egg wash the top and sides evenly removing excess egg wash with the pastry brush, place in freezer for 10 minutes to cool the pastry. Repeat eggwash and freezer process. Bake for about 35 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the fillet inside. It should be around 46-52C or just warm to the top lip for a perfect medium rare. Allow the beef wellington to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile finish the sauce. Place the drained bones into a large saucepan add the sliced eschallots, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and season with salt. Cook, stirring until eschallots are golden. Add the port and red wine and reduce by two thirds. Add the veal stock and glace. Bring to the boil and skim away any scum or impurities that rise to the surface. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency; season to taste. Strain the sauce through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean saucepan to remove any sediment. The sauce should be viscous enough to sit on the plate well without being too runny but not too thick to be sticky, you may need to reduce it further after straining. Then slowly whisk in enough small cubes of butter to add shine.

To serve, carve beef wellington and serve with the sauce.