Beef Wellington is an impressive main course to serve for a special occasion such as this holiday season. This recipe can be easily double if you are expecting a larger group. Beef Wellington is definitely one of the most spectacular main dishes of English cuisine. Their is an unconfirmed relation between the origins of this dish and the 1st Duke of Wellington, hence its name. The original recipe consisted of covering a beef fillet with a foie gras and a coat of duxelles (which is mushrooms and onion mince sautéed in butter) then rolling it in a layer of pancakes before finally wrapping the whole thing in pastry. The Beef Wellington recipe I suggest here is much lighter, I coat the meat in spinach and Parma ham before enclosing it in the pastry.
600g beef tenderloin
2 Tbs canola oil
salt and pepper
2 Tbs mustard
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup chopped, frozen or canned spinach
150g or 6-7 slices of Parma ham
250g rectangular sheet of puff pastry
1 egg for the egg wash
large sea salt
1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Wash and pat dry the beef, season with salt and pepper and brown the meat over high medium-heat on all sides. You are not cooking the meat at this stage, you are just sealing in the moisture. Transfer the fillet to a plate and let in cool completely. Then brush it all over with mustard and refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes to a hour.
2. Cook the spinach and the onions in the same pan for 7-10 minutes or until almost dry, put aside and let it cool down.
3. Place a large piece of cling film over your work surface and cover it with the slices of Parma ham. Next spread the spinach in a even layer over the ham. Then place the tenderloin over, roll and wrap tightly with the cling film. The meat should be neatly and tightly wrapped in ham from all sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
4. Roll the puff pastry over a flowered surface and brush it all over with beaten egg, this will help keep the crust dry from the inside. Then remove the cling film, place the meat over the pastry sheet and roll it in. Seal the ends by pressing them with a fork. Brush the wrapped beef with egg wash for a golden color and gently score it with a sharp blade to give it a pattern, then sprinkle it with sea salt.
5. Preheat the oven to 210C/425F. Bake the beef Wellington in the middle of the oven for 25-28 minutes for medium rare.
Serve cut on thick slices with Fondant Potatoes.
Wine suggestions: Medium-full or full bodied red wines pair well with Beef Wellington see for more options here.