Beef Wellington From Your Woodfired Oven
Beef Wellington is a real treat – deliciously succulent fillet steak wrapped in crispy puff pastry with a filling of slow cooked intensely flavoured mushrooms. We’re serving ours with a dark mushroom and marsala sauce, a perfect match for the beef. This is all aimed at a celebratory Valentine’s night supper coming up on the 14th February; we’re giving you time to plan ahead and next week we’ll be back with a luscious chocolate pud to finish your meal with your loved one.
But first the Beef Wellington – check out how David cooks ours on our youtube channel here and the recipe is below. No problem if you haven’t got a woodfired oven; cook it in your regular oven at 200C fan. A probe thermometer is really useful to have to hand so you can check the temperature of the cooked beef (you want 55C for medium) without rummaging around in your perfect pastry parcel. The great thing about the woodfired oven means there is lots of bottom heat so the pastry will get cooked right through and no dreaded soggy bottom; never good for Valentine’s night, or any time really!
300g piece beef fillet, seasoned with salt and pepper
10g porcini mushrooms, soaked in 100ml boiling water for at least 10 minutes, then drained and chopped (keep the soaking liquor though for the sauce)
2 shallots, peeled and very finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped (brush them clean if you need to; don’t wash them as they’ll absorb water)
2tbsp sunflower oil
50ml marsala (or apple juice or red grape juice if you don’t want to use wine)
1 heaped tsp grain mustard
200ml beef stock
200g piece puff pastry (shop bought is fine)
1 beaten egg
A few sesame seeds (or poppy seeds)
Salt & pepper
Oven State, equipment etc
4-5 Mississippi, around 200C to cook the Wellington (about 2 Mississippi for cooking the mushrooms)
Heat deflector to prevent side scorch on the pastry
Probe thermometer to take the temperature of the cooked beef
- Put the butter in a wide pan, melt it in the oven (the butter, not the pan) and when it’s foaming, add the finely chopped shallots, chestnuts and the drained, chopped porcini mushrooms.
- Put the pan towards the front of the oven near the door and cook the mushrooms slowly until they have released all their liquids and these have evaporated. The mushrooms should have cooked right through and reduced significantly in size. This will take about 20-30 minutes so don’t rush it. After 15 minutes or so when the mushrooms are half cooked, ad half the marsala and let that evaporate as well with all the mushroom juices.
- Take the mushrooms out of the pan and leave to cool.
- While the mushrooms are cooking, heat the oil in another pan and when it’s hot add the beef fillet and brown it quickly on all sides. Take it out of the pan to cool down.
- Put the rest of the marsala with all the beef stock, the porcini soaking liquor and the mustard in the pan you cooked the beef fillet in, stir well and put the pan back in the oven to reduce the sauce until it’s thickened as is fully flavoured. Season after reducing the sauce otherwise it will become too salty.
- Push the embers to the side with the heat deflector to stop any side scorch on your Beef Wellington.
- Roll out the pastry on a little flour to a rectangle about 30x20cm and about 3mm thick. Put 2/3 of the mushroom mixture on top of the pastry in the middle and put the cooled browned beef fillet on top of the mushrooms. Trim the pastry as necessary and the use some of the beaten egg to brush the edges before bringing them together to seal the beef and mushrooms in a pastry parcel, as neat as you can manage and trying not to leave any holes.
- Put the wellington in a small roasting tin with the seam on the bottom. Brush all over with egg and then score a pattern lightly on the surface of the pastry with a sharp knife, making sure not to cut right through the pastry. Sprinkle over a few of the seeds (if you like; not obligatory!)
- At this point you can put the wellington in the fridge until you need it if you want to get ahead of yourself. If not, put it in the oven and shut the door, leaving it slightly ajar.
- Bake the wellington for 30 minutes turning it round half way through cooking. Have a bit of foil handy to cover the pastry if it is browning too quickly. Check the temperature after 20 minutes to see how the beef is getting on – if it’s a cold day it may take longer to cook than you think. You want it to reach 55C for medium – ours tool the full 30 minutes.
- When the beef is cooked and the pastry puffed up and golden brown, take the wellington out of the oven to rest for 5 minutes. Don’t cover it or the pastry might get soggy so keep it in a warmish place while you finish the sauce.
- Stir the rest of the cooked mushroom mixture into the sauce and reheat it gently in the oven, testing the seasoning again at the end.
- When you’re ready to eat, slice the Beef Wellington into 4-6 pieces and serve with the sauce and some vegetables.
- Use venison fillet instead of beef; this will be thinner so will take less time to cook.
- Use apple juice or grape juice instead of marsala if you don’t want to use alcohol.
- Use red wine instead of marsala if you don’t have any to hand.
- We use grain mustard as we like it and we always have it in but any mustard will be fine.
- If you don’t want to use sesame or poppy seeds, just leave them off)
- If you don’t have a refractory oven like the Bushman Santorini we were using in the video, make sure you have a good bed of embers in your metal oven and keep some small pieces of wood handy to keep the heat up as necessary as the wellington cooks.
- If you haven’t got a woodfired oven, just cook it in your regular oven at around 200C.
- How about a fully flavoured Cotes du Rhone or a New World Shiraz. These will go well with the beef and the intensity of the mushroom sauce.
- If you don’t want to drink red wine, an oaked chardonnay from Australia will again go really well with your supper.