Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mini Beef Wellingtons

So I'm back to blogging after the last month of crazy campaigning!! Glad to get back into the kitchen properly. I'm not sure I want to see another cupcake for a while but I am so delighted all the hard work paid off and I managed to finish in FIRST place in the voting for Cheffactor! I am so grateful to everyone who helped me out over the last month and voted for me, so thank you all so much. I am so excited to have this opportunity to go down to Ballymaloe for the final next weekend. I was already practicing my omelette skills this morning so it might be omelettes every day this week along with my chicken, leek and apple pie!!

As you can imagine, I have lots of sleep to catch up on, so myself and Simon decided we would have a night in with a really nice dinner and a bottle of vino last night! ( And of course Xfactor!) I fell asleep for the movie afterwards!! It felt good to be asleep on the couch at 9.45!! These beef wellington's are so tasty, quick and easy. They can be prepared ahead of time so are a great idea for a dinner party -  if you can afford fillet steak for everyone!! I think a simple salad on the side is a nice light option to go with this dish, but if you thought your guests would like more, you could serve some carrot pureé or parsnip crisps or whatever you feel like as a side. I personally don't think it needs anything though.

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 20 mins Serves: 2

1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 large glugs dry sherry
100ml cream
2 springs of thyme leaves, finely chopped
2 fillet steaks
1 sheet of shop bought puff pastry, de-frosted, rolled & cut into 2 large squares
salt & pepper

To serve:
2 handfuls mixed salad leaves
balsamic dressing (see below)

Simple Balsamic Dressing:
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C fan. 

Pat the fillet steaks dry with some kitchen paper and season both sides with salt & pepper. Heat a heavy bottomed frying pan over a high heat and add some olive oil. When the pan is nearly smoking, add the fillet steaks and sear on both sides for 30 seconds until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to the side to cool. (The cooler the steaks are before they go into the oven the better).

Heat the same pan over a medium heat, using the lovely left over juices from the steaks. Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Pour in a glug of sherry, turn up the heat and allow to bubble and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Lower the heat and continue to cook until the mushrooms have absorbed all the liquid. Taste and season with salt and pepper. 

Place a large spoonful of the mushrooms in the centre of each of the puff pastry square. Place the seared steak on top of the mushrooms. Wrap the puff pastry around the steak by pulling each corner of the puff pastry into the centre and wrapping it like a parcel. Turn the right way up and place on a baking tray. Cut three slits into the top of the pastry to allow the air to escape and to make sure the pastry doesn't pop up too much. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and place in the oven at 200C for 12 minutes. 

While the steak is cooking away in the oven, you can make a really gorgeous sauce with the end of the mushroom mix. Put the pan back onto the heat. Add another glug or two of sherry, turn the heat up high and allow the alcohol to bubble off again. Reduce the heat and then add the cream, the chopped thyme and season with salt & pepper. 

Remove the steaks from the oven and serve straight away with a nice drizzle of the sauce on top and dressed balsamic leaves on the side. This is honestly one of my favourite dinners. What a treat!

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