This classic dish is bound to impress guests and it’s actually easier to get right than you might think – as long as you do each step carefully. As it can be quite hard (and expensive) to get large pieces of fillet steak, this recipe uses the smaller pieces you can buy off the shelf in the supermarket. The rich, buttery puff pastry and melt-in-the-mouth beef make the perfect indulgent accompaniment to the full-bodied and silky Alpha Estate Hedgehog Single Vineyard Xinomavro.
Makes 2 small wellingtons, serves 4
- 2 beef fillet steaks, about 300g each
- Olive oil
- 4 slices of parma ham
- 2 big handfuls of white mushrooms
- White pepper
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- 500g ready-made puff pastry
A note on equipment: a meat thermometer will be very helpful, to enable you to check that the meat inside is cooked to perfection without cutting the wellingtons open.
- Use a food processor to finely chop the mushrooms, and then fry in a small splash of olive oil, with a sprinkling of salt and white pepper, until the excess moisture has evaporated. Tip out onto a plate to cool.
- Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan until really hot. Season the fillet steaks with salt and black pepper and then sear in the pan – no more than 30 seconds on each side, you literally just want to take the pink colour off. Remove to a plate and leave to cool.
- Spread out a sheet of clingfilm and lay two slices of parma ham on top, overlapping slightly lengthways. Spread half of the mushroom mixture in an even layer over the top. Lay one of the seared steaks on top, crossways, and then roll the ham up tightly with the steak inside, and wrap firmly in the clingfilm. Repeat with the other steak and pop both in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to about 5mm thick and cut into two rough rectangles. Carefully unwrap in the clingfilm from the steaks and place one on top of each piece of pastry. Brush the surrounding pastry with a little beaten egg yolk and wrap around each steak, turning so the join is underneath, and scrunching up the ends to seal. Gently score the top of each wellington with parallel lines. Brush the tops with beaten egg yolk and then return them to the fridge for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan). Brush the tops of the wellingtons with more beaten egg yolk, and then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the steak reads 45°C (for rare), 55°C (for medium-rare) or 60°C (for medium). Serve with buttery mashed potatoes and red wine gravy.