From episode 6 (season 1) of The Fabulous Baker Brothers.
Cooking a beef Wellington is not difficult but does require just a pinch of early concentration and a watchful eye till your first mouthful.
800g good-quality beef fillet
Knob of butter
1 sprig of thyme
Good pinch of chopped parsley
500g block of all-butter puff pastry
Glug of olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 Portobello mushrooms, finely diced
6 Savoy cabbage leaves
1 egg, to glaze
Season the fillet liberally. Heat a large pan, add the oil and brown the beef on all sides. This is not to cook it but to just get as much colour on the meat as possible – about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and place on a plate to chill and rest.
Melt the butter in a frying pan then add the garlic and strip in the thyme. Add the mushrooms and fry until they have colour, then add salt and pepper to season. When the mushrooms are golden and most of the moisture has gone, season, take off the heat and add the chopped parsley. Set aside to chill.
Separate the cabbage leaves and using a knife cut out the middle of the stem from the thick end. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the cabbage leaves for 2 minutes, then remove and plunge straight into cold water. This is just to cook the leaves through and chilling them quickly helps to keep the vibrant green colour. When cool, drain and squeeze out any excess moisture.
Lay the cabbage out overlapping each leaf in a shape big enough to wrap the whole fillet in. Thinly spread the mushrooms over the middle part of the cabbage then place the fillet on the cabbage and wrap the leaves over it making sure there are no gaps. This helps to keep the juices away from the pastry.
Roll the pastry into a thin rectangle and cut it into one large piece and one smaller piece – two thirds and one third. The smaller piece is what the beef will sit on and the larger piece is the piece that will go on top and cover everything.
Turning it as you move to keep the mushrooms on top, place the fillet in the middle of the smaller piece of pastry and cover it all with the larger piece of pastry. Using a rolling pin, push the pastry at the bottom of the beef to seal it in and then using a fork, crimp the edges. Put 3 slashes into the top of the pastry and brush with egg wash.
Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes so the pastry can firm-up. Otherwise when you bake it, the pastry may shrink.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6. Heat a baking sheet until hot then place the Wellington directly onto it. This stops it getting a soggy butt. Bake the Wellington for 20 minutes then turn down the heat to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. For rare meat cook for a further 20 minutes (40 minutes in total), or for well done beef cook for a further 40 minutes (1 hour in total).
Remove and rest for 5 minutes somewhere warm. Slice and serve.
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