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John Torode's freeze-ahead beef wellington!

 It’s exactly 2 months until Christmas and so the countdown is really on! John is here with the perfect freeze-ahead Christmas dish to have us covered for the big day! 

Freeze ahead beef wellington

Serves 6-8


1 – 1.4kg Beef fillet, trimmedSalt and freshly ground black pepper 50g (2oz) butter2 shallots, chopped15g (½oz) dried porcini soaked in 100ml boiling water2 garlic cloves chopped225g (8oz) flat mushrooms finely chopped2 tsp chopped fresh thyme170g pack chicken liver pate2 x 80g pack Parma ham slicesFlour to dust375g (13oz) ready rolled puff pastry1 medium egg beaten


1. Put the beef on a board and season all over with salt and pepper.  Melt half the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat.  When foaming, put the fillet in the pan and brown 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 and cook for 1 minute.  Drain the porcini, reserving the liquor.  Chop the porcini, and then add to the pan with the garlic, the reserved liquor and the flat mushrooms.  Increase the heat and cook until the mushrooms are dry in the pan, then season and add the thyme. Cool.

3. Put the 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 to a board and use a palette knife to spread half the mushroom mixture evenly over one side of the beef.

4. Lay half the Parma ham on cling film, overlapping the slices. Invert the mushroom topped beef onto the ham.  Spread the remaining mushroom mixture over the beef, and then wrap the rest of the Parma ham, also overlapping, on top of the mushroom mixture.  Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge. *If freezing ahead see note below*

5. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.

6. Roll out the pastry to a large rectangle, measuring 30 x 40 cm.  

7. Unwrap the chilled beef fillet, brush with the egg and place on the pastry. Wrap the beef with the pastry and  tuck the ends under and seal the edges. Decorate the top with pastry leaves and brush with more egg to glaze. 

8. Put the wellington back in the fridge or freezer for 20 minutes before baking.

9. Place a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking sheet and cook at 200C for 30-40 minutes for rare to medium rare, 45 minutes for medium.  Leave to stand for 10 minutes before carving.

Tip for freezing ahead: 

If freeing ahead, place the cling film wrapped beef fillet into the freezer and defrost the day before you will be cooking. 

Place onto a wire rack and leave to defrost completely - approximately 12 to 24 hours in the fridge before using. 

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