Beef Wellington

This is a classic recipe which is having somewhat of a renaissance. This recipe is based on one I learned while training at Silwood Kitchen in Cape Town. It was first made at the school by it's founder, Lesley Faull, who learned it at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in November 1966.

Serves 6-8

For the crêpes
100g flour
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
300 ml milk
pinch of salt
1 Tablspoon oil
butter for frying

For the Wellington
1 kg beef fillet, cut from the middle and trimmed (we use Simmentaler from Lindenhoff)
750 g chestnut mushrooms
olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic
splash of dry sherry
salt and pepper
English mustard powder
500 g all butter puff pastry

Begin with the crepes. Mix the egg and egg yolk with the flour, oil and pinch of salt and add part of the milk. Whisk until you have a thick mixture and add the remaining milk. (This can also be done in the food processor). Allow the batter to rest for ± 30 minutes. Cook the crêpes in a crêpe pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Heat a frying pan with olive oil over high heat. Season the fillet well with salt an pepper. Brown on all sides until well coloured and set aside to cool. It's important never to put pastry around warm meat, as it will become soggy.

Clean and trim the mushrooms. Place them, together with the garlic and thyme leaves in a food processor until very finely chopped. Heat a frying pan over high heat with a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter. Fry the mushroom mixture for a goof 10 minutes until all the liquid has cooked away and the mushrooms are quite dry. Add a splash of dry sherry and allow it too to cook away. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool. It's important that the mushroom mixture is dry, this will also help the pastry stop getting soggy.

Season the fillet with English mustard powder. Lay cling wrap on your work surface and lay about 4 crepes (depending on their size) in an even layer. Spread generously with the mushroom mixture. Lay the fillet on and fold roll up, using the cling warp to guide you. Twist the the edges of the pastry to for a 'christmas cracker' so that you get a nice even shape. Place in the fridge to chill.

Roll out the pastry on floured surface to approx. 5 mm thick. Place the crepe wrapped fillet on the pastry  and brush with beaten egg. Pull the sides of the pastry around to wrap up the fillet like a parcel. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to chill. This can be done a few hours in advance.

Heat the oven to 200 C. Remove the Wellington from the fridge and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush the pastry with the remaining beaten egg and sprinkle with some coarse salt. Bake for 30-35 minutes for medium rare. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before slicing, or else all the juices will run out.

To serve, slice into pieces about 2,5 cm thick. Delicious with a red wine-port sauce and seasonal vegetables.

We, the Amsterdam Flavours chefs, hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. If you have any questions on how to prepare it or just want to send us your feedback, you can reach us here Contact Amsterdam Flavours

This dish works well served with Artadi Tempranillo.