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Fillet of Beef Wellington

ingredients

serves 8
1.6 kg (3 1/2 lb) piece fillet of beef (Tenderloin Steak), preferably from the centre of the fillet
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter

for the mushroom mixture

1/2 oz (15 g) dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 1/2 cup (350 g) large flat mushrooms, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
375 g (13 oz) ready-made puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
thyme sprigs to garnish

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

1. Heat 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a frying pan. Once it is foaming, add the beef and brown all over.

2. Place on a rack over a roasting tin and roast at 220°C (425°F) gas mark 7 for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Soak the dried porcini mushrooms in 30 ml (2 tbsp) boiling water for 15 minutes.

4. Melt the remaining butter in a pan, add the shallots and fry for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then stir in all the mushrooms and soaking liquid. Cook for 5 minutes until dry, then add the thyme, season to taste and let cool.

5. Roll out a quarter of the pastry to a rectangle 2.5 cm (1 inch) larger than the beef, and prick with a fork.

6. Bake at 220°C (425°F) gas mark 7 for 10-12 minutes until crisp and golden.

7. Allow to cool then trim to the size of the beef and place on a baking sheet.

8. Roll out the remaining pastry to a rectangle about 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 inch). Cut a small square off each corner; keep the trimmings.

9. Place the meat on the cooked pastry rectangle. Season the beef and spread the mushroom mixture all over, then brush lightly with a little egg.

10. Wrap the uncooked pastry around the beef, tucking it under the pastry base. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

11. Make a slit in the top of the pastry and brush with beaten egg. Decorate with shapes cut from the pastry trimming; brush with egg.

12. Bake at 220°C (425°F) gas mark 7 for 35 minutes for medium rare beef or 40-45 minutes for medium.

13. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with thyme and serve with a thin gravy and vegetables of your choice.

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