Fillet of Beef Wellington

Makes: 10 portions. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Oven temperature: 200°C to seal during first 10 minutes then reduced to 150 °C.

Ingredients:

— 1 kg Prepared Fillet of Beef
— 2 dl oil
— seasoning
— 500 grams Duxelle of Mushrooms
— 1½ kg Puff Paste
— 2 eggs (eggwash)

Method:

(1) Heat the oil in a shallow sided saucepan, preferably a frying pan.

(2) Add the seasoned fillet and fry until a light golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and allow to cool and drain by standing on a wire grid. (Allow to cool completely before further handling.)

(3) Roll out the paste 3 mm thick, a little longer than the fillet 10 allow for sealing the ends and wide enough to surround the fillet with a little overlap for sealing.

(4) Place some of the mushroom duxelle in the center of the paste. Place the fillet on the filling and cover the surface area of the beef with the remainder of the filling.

(5) Surround the meat with the paste, overlapping the top at least 1 cm. Eggwash and seal. Seal the ends in a similar fashion. (Generally the end pieces are discarded when serving.)

(6) Place on a baking sheet which has been greased or sprinkled with water.

(7) The presentation surface may be decorated with leaves of pastry but this is unnecessary if the dish is to be cut up into portions for serving.

(8) Allow the paste to rest for as long as possible (approximately 1 hour).

(9) Bake in the oven until cooked.

(10) Remove from the oven, allow to settle for a few moments before cutting and serving. Serve on a shallow sided earthenware or silver or stainless steel dish accompanied with an appropriate sauce.

Note:
(1) This dish may be served with a Madeira Sauce (3.30) or any similar sauce.

(2) The dish may be presented whole or cut into portions. The portioning must be left to the last moment.

(3) This dish is generally produced in multiples of two to six portions.

(4) Pâté may also be added to the duxelle of mushrooms. Ideally foie gras would be used in place of pâté but costs prevent this in all but the most expensive establishments.

(5) The meat should be medium cooked, that is pink in the center. However, it is impossible to see or feel the meat so a meat thermometer should be used (the temperature at the center of the meat should be 65 °C). Only the very experienced should rely on the length of time the dish has cooked.

Assessment of the completed dish

(1) The pastry should be an even golden color as for pies.

(2) The meat should be medium cooked, moist, tender and fresh looking when sliced and evenly surrounded with the filling.

(3) Where the pastry has come into contact with the filling and meat it should not be wet and soggy.

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