Beef Wellington with honey parsnips and creamed spinach

Impress your guests with this beautiful Beef Wellington recipe. Tender beef, chicken liver pate and crispy pastry are a rich but wonderful combination.

Serves 8

Prep: 30 minutes, plus chilling timeCook: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1 – 1.4kg beef fillet, trimmed50g butter2 shallots, chopped15g dried porcini, soaked in 100ml boiling water2 garlic cloves, chopped225g flat mushrooms, finely chopped2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped170g chicken liver pate (see recipe, or shop bought)Flour, to dust375g ready rolled puff pastry2 x 80g pack Parma ham slices1 medium egg, beatenSalt and pepper

Method

  • Put the beef on a board and season all over with salt and pepper.

  • Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the butter is foaming, put the fillet in the pan and brown all over for 4-5 minutes each side, taking care not to burn the butter.

  • Put the beef on a plate and leave to cool.

  • Melt the remaining butter in a pan, add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Drain the porcini mushrooms, reserving the liquor. Finely chop the porcini and then add to the pan with the garlic, the reserved mushroom liquor and the flat mushrooms.

  • Increase the heat and cook until the mushrooms are dry in the pan, then season with salt and pepper and add the thyme. Cool.

  • Put the chicken liver pate in a bowl and beat until smooth, add the mushroom mixture and stir well until thoroughly combined. Season to taste.

  • Transfer the cold fillet of beef to a board and use a palette knife to spread the mushroom mixture evenly over the beef.

  • Roll the pastry out on a floured surface to a rectangle, measuring 30 x 40cm. Lay out on greaseproof paper.

  • Lay the Parma ham overlapping over all the pastry. Place the mushroom topped beef on to the ham. Envelope the ham over the beef. Liberally egg wash the edges of the pastry and grasp the paper to gently but tightly roll over the mushroom and Parma ham topped beef. Cut off any excess pastry and tuck both ends of the pastry in underneath the parcel. Use a knife to paste the edge fully closed.

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/ gas 6.

  • Brush the pastry with more beaten egg.

  • Decorate the top with pastry roses (see tip below), leaves and stem if liked and brush again with the egg to glaze.

  • Put the wellington in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking.

  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 minutes for rare to medium rare reducing the temperature to 180C/gas 4 half way through cooking, or cook for 1 hour for well done.

  • Leave to stand for 10 minutes before carving.

  • Serve with Whole Baked Cauliflower Cheese and Dauphinoise Potatoes (see recipes below).

TIPS

Ask the butcher for the middle cut of beef fillet.

Switch chicken liver pate for mushroom pate if liked.

Ensure all the ingredients are cool before placing on the pastry.

To make roses, roll out thin strips of pastry, thin out one edge by pressing with your thumb, then twirl and roll each strip into a rose shape with the thumbprint edge uppermost.