Help - beef Wellington

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
I've never done this before, but I'm doing it for New Year's Day. I've got some great fillet steak from Steve McCardle in Chirk (a butcher so good that the Vegetarian Society publishes a map whereby Chirk does not exist, lest vegetarians pass through, and end up renouncing their vows, and demanding tightly crated veal and foie gras) and looking at the recipe, it all seems disarmingly simple.

However, I have a horrible feeling that it's all in the execution, and it's very easy to foul it up on the presentation and end up with something that looks like Lidl dog food. As I see it the key elements are:
1. Searing and chilling the fillet.
2. Really drying the duxelles, as otherwise there will be a late moisture release during the oven stage and the pastry will end up like a boiled Fray Bentos pie.
3. Being neat with the pastry during final assembly.
4. Glaze and seal with egg - not milk for grip and colour.
4. Keeping the sauce simple - I've got in mind a straightforward duxelle, port and red wine reduction with perhaps a little redcurrant.

Any tips?
 

Geoff Crowther

"... travel far, not fast", Ted Simon
Go to t'chip shop.
 
OP
Cycling Naturalist

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
[QUOTE 3449623, member: 259"]
  1. Wrapping the meat in thin pancakes (really) will stop the pastry on the outside getting soggy.
  2. Use a proper meat thermometer.
[/QUOTE]

That's excellent advice. Many thanks. It's about time I got a meat thermometer - especially as with beef I like it medium rare and my wife likes it "Look it's sort of pink in the middle - it's not cooked." I'm doing separate Wellingtons and the pastry really has got to be thin to get the balance right.
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
Chateau Musar 1986
That's the second time you have done that!!! Stop it!!! ... or invite me round to split a bottle!
 

PK99

Legendary Member
Location
SW19
Plus one with the pancakes, some recipes use spinach leaves to protect the pastry instead.
pancakes every time - spinach adds even more water to the mix, pancakes are a sponge.

Sounds good....Nicholls and Perks: "1986 was a difficult year - something of a drought year in the Bekaa Valley. The grapes were also difficult which proved to be a great experience in the wine-making. Very nice cherry colour with unexpected remarkable tears. Smoky, leathery and even animal smell turning to hot chocolate and ripe fruits. Velvety in the mouth, round, full-bodied, spicy fruit with a lengthy finish."

STOP IT!
 
OP
Cycling Naturalist

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
Put it onto a pre-heated baking sheet (even giving it a few minutes on the hob) before going in the oven to avoid a soggy bottom.
Excellent advice. I'd use a pre-heated baking sheet, but the thermal capacity is very limited, so the hob suggestion is excellent for avoiding bottom pastry foul ups.
 
OP
Cycling Naturalist

Cycling Naturalist

Legendary Member
Location
Llangollen
Take it up with Delia, it's not my fight. :rolleyes:
My ideas for the veg are pretty simple:

Dice par boiled potatoes, toss in olive oil and in the oven.
I was going to make some carrot soup anyway as a useful standby in cold weather, so I could rustle up a carrot coulis for colour and by using the white part of the leek for the coulis/soup, this releases the green part for char grilled segments.
 
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