52 Sunday Dinners #1
Here’s my first recipe for my 52 Sunday Dinners Project.
Quick catch up – I try to cook a huge meal (some complex, some not so much) on a Sunday, which translates into leftovers during the working week. If I am lucky, I only ever have to cook two-ish other meals during the week, which makes me a happy person. I love cooking, but creating feasts after a long day at work is not something I’m into.
So anyway, I wanted to start 2015 off on the right foot, so earlier this month, made my traditional New Year’s Beef Wellington with roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach. This meal may have broken a record for longest dinner, because it lasted four nights. That’s eight meals (2 adults x 4 nights)!!
To disclose, I first came across the Beef Wellington recipe via Gordan Ramsay, but over the years, have made some little alterations here and there (and have included the alternations here and there below). For all intents and purposes, the Beef Wellington recipe is his credit, but the potatoes and spinach are all from my own head.
Note: while delicious, it is labor intensive and takes at least 3 hours to prepare (start to finish). It’s worth it, though, I promise.
Without further ado…
- beef fillet of around 1kg – if this is too big to handle, cut it in half and you can make 2 small Beef Wellingtons at the same time, instead of one big one
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 250g mushrooms
- 50g butter
- 100ml cooking white wine
- 12-ish slices prosciutto
- 2-3 puff pastry pieces, thawed if frozen
- a little flour, for dusting
- 1-2 egg yolks beaten with 1 tsp water
Pre-heat oven to 200C.
Sear the meat on all sides in a large pan with a little bit of oil, butter and seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, whatever you like).
Once the meat has been seared, place the beef in a tray, brush with some of the pan drippings and roast for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the meat and how you like your meat (As a guide: 15-20 for rarer meats, and 25 for more well down). Keep the pan and drippings for later – you will use this with the roasted potatoes.
Remove from the oven to cool, then place in the fridge for about 20 mins.
While the beef is cooling, chop 250g the mushrooms as finely as possible so that they feel like breadcrumbs. You can put them in the hand blender, but be careful not to pulverise them and they start to liquefy!
Heat 2T olive oil and the butter in a large pan and fry the mushrooms on a medium heat, along with the thyme, for about 10 mins stirring often. The mushrooms will soften in this time and once they do, add a bit of salt, pepper and pour over the cooking white wine and cook until all the wine has been absorbed (~10 minutes).
The mixture (called duxelles) should hold its shape when stirred. Cool the mushrooms.
Overlap two pieces of plastic wrap over a large chopping board. Lay prosciutto on the wrap, slightly overlapping, in a double row. Spread half the mushroom mix over the prosciutto, then sit the cooled beef on it and spread the remaining mushroom over the beef.
Use the the plastic wrap's edges to draw the prosciutto around the beef, then roll it into a sausage shape, twisting the ends to tighten it as you go. Pop with beef into the fridge again.
Get your puff pastry ready – the original recipe advises to roll it out, but I’ve never done this. Once thawed, the puff pastry I get seems thin enough…2 pieces seems to be enough, but make sure you have a few spare on hand, just in case.
Take the beef out of the plastic wrap and sit it in the centre of one of the puff pastry pieces. Beat the egg yolk (start with 1, but you can always add another one if needed) with 1 tsp water and brush the pastry’s edges, and also, the top and sides of the wrapped beef.
Carefully lift and drape the larger piece of pastry over the fillet, pressing into the sides. Trim the joins to about a 4cm rim. Seal the rim with the edge of a fork or spoon handle. Glaze all over with more egg yolk and, using the back of a knife, mark the Beef Wellington with long diagonal lines - be careful and don't cut into the pastry.
Place back into the fridge for the last time, for at least 30 mins and up to 24 hrs.
Brush the Wellington with a little more egg yolk and cook in a 200C oven until golden – about 25-30 minutes, again depending on the size of the beef and how you like your meat cooked.
Let your meat rest for 10 mins before cutting in thick slices.
Gordon Ramsay’s Beef Wellington recipe first found here: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2538/beef-wellington.