One of my favourite dishes to make for a small dinner party is beef wellington. I have made it very successfully in the past using our farm venison, but this time I had been given a gift of a magnificent beef fillet, so the decision was made for me.
I am also VERY fond of wellington squares. One of my fellow Ballymaloe teachers makes superb ones that, quite frankly she doesn’t make enough… They remind me of my childhood favourite chocolate bar, the Twix. So I decided to recreate a home baked Twix as a dessert for the beef wellington. But that’s for another post.
My Beef Wellington Recipe
A little note, I haven’t given quantities, because it all really depends on the fillet size. So use your gut.
Wash the spinach VERY thoroughly and steam briefly in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid until just cooked. Strain and dry well.
Lay your prosciutto slices side by side on a sheet of clingfilm. Top with a single layer of your spinach.
Put your well seasoned beef fillet on a hot frying pan and sear all sides in a little olive oil until caramelised. Cool.
Place this seared and cooled fillet on top of your spinach, and roll everything up together, making sure the fillet is well covered by the spinach and prosciutto. Wrap tightly in the clingfilm (note: I am actively trying to reduce plastic use in our everyday lives, but this time it just has to be plastic, you don’t get the correct shape otherwise.) Refrigerate your fillet for 30 minutes.
Roll out your pastry on a well floured board to the size that will comfortably fit around your fillet. Carefully take the plastic off your beef and lay this in the centre of your pastry. Wrap the pastry around your fillet/ spinach/ prosciutto, being careful not to have too many pastry layers in any one spot. (No- one likes THAT much pastry.
Refrigerate the whole parcel again for 30 minutes while you heat your oven. to 180˚C. Egg wash and score the wellington.
Once the oven has reached temperature, put your pastry parcel in on a baking tray. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes. How long will depend on how big the fillet is, and how you like it cooked. I like mine medium rare, so check the inside with a meat probe until it reaches 60˚C.
I like to serve this dish with lots of green salad. And a small glass of vino…