Ed says: "Rumour has it that the famous General Wellington, whilst busy defeating Napoleon, acquired and enjoyed French cooking skills, but so as not to offend or demoralise his men, he combined the delicacies of French puff pastry with the British obsession for eating beef. I've chosen to use English rough puff pastry as I imagine on the battle field it would be almost impossible to produce perfect puff pastry! Also, I prefer the contrasting textures you get when you use rough puff pastry."
- beef dripping or vegetable oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 375g scottish beef fillet
- 3 large shallots, chopped
- 10 button mushrooms, chopped
- sprig of fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
- 2 slices of brown bread, made into breadcrumbs
- 0.5 glass of red wine
- flour, for dusting
- 1 x rough puff pastry recipe
- 1 tsp english mustard
- 1 egg, beaten
- For the red wine gravy
- 600ml beef stock 25g butter
- 1 glass of red wine
- Heat a little beef dripping or oil in a frying pan. Season the beef fillet then seal on all sides in the hot pan until nut-brown. Remove the beef from pan and set aside.
- Fry the shallots and mushrooms in oil with the thyme. Add the breadcrumbs and cook for another 30 seconds, then add the red wine. Cook until it thickens then finely chop to create a mushroom pâté. Allow to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6.
- Grease a roasting tray with a little oil.
- On a floured working surface, roll out the pastry to a rectangular shape large enough to enclose the beef fillet – about triple the width of the fillet and one and a half times the length.
- Spread with the mustard, cover with the cooled mushroom pâté and place the beef along the bottom edge of the rolled out pastry. Roll the beef with the pastry to cover. Seal the edges, folding the ends together to keep the juices in. Brush with beaten egg and slide on to the greased tray. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Roast the Wellington in the oven until the pastry is golden. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the red wine gravy, pour the stock into a saucepan and reduce on a high heat by three quarters. Add the butter and whisk vigorously. Place the red wine into a separate saucepan and also reduce by three quarters. Whisk the reduced wine into the stock and butter mixture.
- To serve, cut the beef so that you can see the pink of the meat and serve with fresh seasonal vegetables. My personal favourite with beef Wellington is boiled and buttered Savoy cabbage.
Recipe taken from The Best Of British, published by Kyle Cathie Ltd