Sunday, 25 February 2007

Beef Wellington & Salad

I love Beef Wellington. There is something just a bit special and sophisticated about eating a Beef Wellington. I have always felt a bit intimidated by the thought of actually making them. They seem so delicate, so classy and scary to make for the average cook. Silly Hey? But that's how I felt about it. Some things, stupid recipes I have issues with trying. There is no reason for it, just the fear of failure may happen upon me. I don't like to cook bad food or make mistakes in the kitchen. I am a perfectionist. It is the same with Chocolate Mousse. I don't know why, can't do it and wont go there, just yet. I remind myself that I don't want to end up like one of those people on that TV show Maury Povich. Afraid of alfoil and kittens or even stupider things like, butterflies and sunflowers. C'mon, sunflowers really? Sorry I have digressed again. So I did it and they turned out fantastic. No recipe, just what I had seen on TV and cooking mags. I felt my way through the process and hopefully this is just a stunner of a recipe for you, as it was for us.
I started with bought puff pastry sheets, then some excellent quality fillet steak, 500grams of mushrooms and a couple of cloves of garlic. I placed 500mls of beef stock into a saucepan with 1 cup of red wine, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a tablespoon of brown sugar. I brought these to a simmer and reduced the liquid to a syrupy consistency. Then I allowed it to cool. While that was reducing I had finely chopped the mushrooms and garlic. I fried them in a pan with a splash of olive oil and a good pinch of salt flakes, once all the moisture has evaporated from the pan remove them to cool also. Then mix the sauce and the mushrooms together.
Then you need to sear the fillet steak quickly, on each side, in a fry pan. I'm talking quick high heat. In and out. Allow them to rest while you arrange your pastry. Arrange the desired amount of sheets on your bench top and your set to go.
Place a dollop of the mushroom sauce in the centre of each sheet. Then place a fillet on top of each one. As you can see by the pics. You need to cut the corners out of each sheet of pastry. Fold them in like wrapping a present and use the discarded pieces of pastry to decorate. You can brush with egg yolk or spray with olive oil lightly. Bake in a fan forced oven on 200 degrees or 210 degrees for a non fan forced. Bake for 15 to 20 Min's or until pastry is golden. Serve with a nice green salad, ranch dressing and croutons.
Gee they were scrummy. I surprised myself yet again. The sauce was so rich and flavourful. The pastry was so crisp and buttery. The steak just pink in the middle and so tender. It melted in your mouth. Chopper nearly wet himself (lol). We loved them. Ohhhhhhhhh ahhhhhh yummo. I am telling you, you must try them. So not so scary after all. Sorry Maury but you will have to find someone else for your show.