Freeze-Ahead Beef Wellington
John and Lisa are feeling festive in their Christmas Kitchen. It’s the start of the season so what better time to get planning for the big day? John and Lisa have a host of recipes that can all be prepared in advance. This is their majestic Beef Wellington which can be frozen until needed.
Freeze-Ahead Beef Wellington
1 – 1.4kg beef fillet, trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, finely chopped
15g dried porcini, soaking in 100ml boiling water
2 garlic cloves, chopped
225g flat mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
170g pack chicken liver pate
2 x 80g pack Parma ham slices
Flour, to dust, if necessary
375g block puff pastry, or ready rolled if desired
1 medium egg, beaten
1. Put the beef on a board and season all over with salt and pepper. Melt half the butter (or oil if preferred) in a large frying pan over a medium heat. When foaming, put the fillet in the pan and sear all over for 4 – 5 minutes, taking care not to burn the butter. Put the beef on a plate and leave to cool.
2. Melt the remaining butter in a separate pan, add the shallots, plus a little oil and cook for a couple of minutes. Add some salt and a good amount of pepper.
3. Drain the porcini, reserving the liquor.
4. Chop the porcini, and then add to the pan with the garlic, the reserved porcini liquor, the finely chopped flat mushrooms and the thyme. Increase the heat and cook, stirring well, until the mushrooms are dry in the pan. Remove the mixture from the pan and allow to cool.
5. Put the pate in a bowl and beat until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and stir well until thoroughly combined. Season to taste.
6. Lay half the Parma ham onto a sheet of baking paper, with slices overlapping.
7. Transfer the cold fillet to a board and use a palette knife to spread half the mushroom mixture evenly over one side of the beef.
8. Place the beef, mushroom side down, onto the ham.
9. Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the rest of the beef.
10. Use the baking paper to help wrap the whole thing with the remaining Parma ham, overlapping on top of the mushroom mixture.
11. To get ahead - wrap up with the baking paper (or cling film if freezing) and chill or freeze until ready to use.
12. If frozen, remove the beef from the freezer the night before needed, allowing it to defrost overnight.
13. The following day, preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan
14. Roll out the puff pastry into a large rectangle (approx. 30 x 40 cm) onto an oven tray lined with greaseproof paper.
15. Unwrap the beef, and use the paper to gently roll it onto the pastry.
16. Egg wash the edges of the pastry and carefully roll the beef until totally encased in pastry. Tuck the ends under and seal.
17. Brush the whole thing with more beaten egg and then decorate as desired.
18. If time, place the Wellington in the freezer for 20 minutes before baking to really firm up.
19. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes for rare to medium rare or 45 minutes for medium.
20. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before carving.
For best results, use a meat thermometer to check that the centre of the beef is cooked to perfection at around 40c.