Lightening asked very nicely if I would put some of my “secret recipes” on my blog. Well, there are some that you will never see – like TimTam Cheesecake ($30 for a 22cm cake) but as she specifically asked for my Beef Wellington Recipe, which is not so much of a ‘secret’ recipe as a recipe I found in a book and adapted for myself, I think I can manage it. I made this dish for the Valentines Masquerade Ball that was held in February 2003. It was in the middle of a heatwave and that days temperature had been 46C. It was held in a hall with no airconditioning. Suffice to say, the alcohol was flowing rather freely.
The recipe comes from “Short Cuts” , an Autralian Meat and Livestock Corporation publication that was available in butcher shops in the late 80’s. The original recipe reads like this: (with my suggestions changes in red)
32 minute Individual Beef Wellingtons. (I allow 2 hours)
Prep time: 90 minutes. Cooking time: 18-20 minutes. Serves 4.
4 Rib Eye Steaks I find that Scotch Fillet is just as good as Rib Eye. It is slightly cheaper but it still cooks up tender. It also tends to be a bit bigger – satisfying the man of the house. Have the butcher cut them nice and thick – about 2.5cm thick.
2 sheets frozen puff pastry I think I may have used 1 whole sheet of puff pastry for each steak. I may have trimmed the sheet a little, but I can’t remember. The steaks are bigger, so I don’t think half a sheet will cover them.
2 Tblspn favourite chutney I’m pretty sure that I used Rosella Fruit Chutney (from a jar 😯 ), but I have also done it with Tomato, Herb and Garlic pizza sauce.
1 egg beaten with a little water
4 baby squash
Handful green beans
1. Preheat the oven to 240C. Remove 2 (4) sheets of pastry from the packet, being careful not to break them. Allow to thaw while cooking the steaks.
2. Pat the steaks dry with kitchen paper towels. Before cooking the steak, allow them to warm up a bit. Don’t put them in the pan while they are still really cold. They don’t have to be room temperature – just not cold. At a room temp of 25C, you can safely leave them for about an hour on the bench (covered of course!). Heat the butter in a frying pan and brown the steaks quickly on each side. Make sure the pan is really hot before you put the steak in. Because I use thicker steaks, you need to cook them a bit longer , 4-5 minutes on each side. The steaks should be brown. Cook the steaks 2 at a time or the pan will cool off too quickly. Don’t touch the steaks while they are cooking except to turn them ONCE. You can turn them now. Now cook them for another 4-5 minutes (still on high heat). The steaks won’t be cooked all the way through – but that doesn’t really matter because you still need to bake them in the oven. Transfer to paper towels . Remove the steaks and put them on a plate to cool. When back down to room temperature, you can wrap them in pastry, or you can put them in the fridge to get cold. You can keep them covered in the fridge for 24 hours if you need to. If the steak is too hot, the pastry gets really soft and can become hard to handle. Spread each steak with 1/2 tablespoon chutney. Place half a tablespoon of chutney in the centre and then place the cold steak on top.
3. Cut the pastry sheets in half, put a steak on each half and roll up Don’t put hot steaks on the pastry (see above). Bring the corners of the pastry into the centre of enclose the steak. You should bind the edges with some egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tblspn of water). Turn the Wellington over and place on a tray lined with non-stick paper. Prick the sides with a fork to let steam escape. . Brush with the beaten egg wash. Place on a wet baking tray With the advent of non stick baking paper the wet tray is unnecessary. and cook 18 – 20 minutes. I cook them for 5 minutes, then rotate the tray (yes even in a fan forced oven) Then I turn the oven down to 180C – 200C until the pastry is nice an golden in colour
4. Put a pot of water on to boil for the vegetables. (I prefer salad)
5. Slice the zucchini in half lenghtwise, cut the squash into quarters, chop the ends off the beans. Cook for 6-8 minutes, drain. Serve hot with the Beef Wellingtons.