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Beef Wellington

Posted by Nigel Brown
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on Thursday, 03 May 2012

It's a classic plat principal that makes a pretty show-stopping centre piece for any dinner party.

Here our resident chef Nigel Brown takes the fear factor out making of this decedent dish.




  • 1 oz/25g butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5oz/150g open flat mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 3 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1½ lb/750g beef fillet (trimmed, seared, seasoned and chilled)
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 1lb/500g puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten to glaze
  • 1 or 2 very thin pancakes


1. Heat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6

2. Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onion for about 5 minutes until beginning to soften. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes until soft and dry. Stir in the garlic and parsley and season with a little salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

3. Roll out the puff pastry (recipe below) on a lightly floured surface to a sheet large enough to enclose the beef.

4. Lay the pancakes in the centre where the beef fillet will be rolled

5. Spread the duxelle mixture down the middle of the pancake and lay the beef on top of the mixture and spread some of the duxelle mixture over the top and sides of the beef fillet too.

6. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg and fold the pastry over the meat to enclose it in a neat parcel, sealing the edges well.

7. Place the meat parcel on to a baking sheet, seam side down.

8. Cut decorative leaves from the reserved pastry. Brush the parcel with beaten egg, decorate with the leaves and chill for about 10 minutes.

9. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes until the pastry is golden and puffed up. Transfer to a serving board and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Serve cut into thick slices.

Puff pastry


  • 225g/8oz strong white flour, plus extra for flouring
  • pinch of salt
  • 30g/1½oz cold lard, cut into cubes
  • 85-135ml/3-5fl oz ice-cold water
  • 170g/6oz unsalted butter


1. Place the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the lard and use your hands to rub the lard into the flour. As you do this, lift the flour with your hands to get air into the mixture and keep it cool.

2. When the flour and lard mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs, add the cold water. Mix it in with a palette knife to keep the mixture cool. When the mixture comes together to form a dough, turn it out onto a clean, floured surface and knead briefly until just smooth.

3. Form the dough into a rectangular block (this will make it easier to roll out later), wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Make all the butter pliable to spread, roll out your pastry to the length and half the width of your rolling pin and spread the butter over two thirds of the pastry, fold in three and roll to the same size again, fold into three again and chill the pastry in the fridge for another 30 mins.

5. Repeat this process until you have completed seven rolls, folds and turns.

6. If the pastry is still streaky, repeat the turning, rolling and folding process one more time. The puff pastry is now ready to use.

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