So I’ve been obsessed with Gordon Ramsey’s Hell’s Kitchen for the last few months. My husband asks me why I like it so much because it doesn’t make sense to him why I would like it. They actually don’t even show a lot of details about the cooking; they always cook the same menu; there’s always a lot of shouting and cursing and every episode always ends the same. He makes a good argument as I watch food shows for the cooking, the inspiration and yet there’s minimal here and I’m still obsessed.
I wasn’t sure why I liked it. Until it dawned on me. It is that Beef Wellington and the risotto they always make, always a mess up, end up getting shouted at about and thrown out of the kitchen for. Surely they should know the timing of the Wellington by heart now; the taste and consistency of the risotto after so many attempts. I’ve made risotto numerous times with fair success, rated by my husband and son of course 😜.
But I’ve never made beef Wellington, this should be a good challenge.
But first things first: Wikipedia. This is always my first stop. To find out what the dish is, where it comes from and what the traditional ingredients are. This allows me to then put my own twist and palate on things.
So instead of looking for and following someone else’s recipe, I make up my own from an understanding of what the dish is. So, Wikipedia says: ‘Beef Wellington is a preparation of fillet steak coated with pâté (often pâté de foie gras) and duxelles, which is then wrapped in puff pastry and baked. Some recipes include wrapping the coated meat in a crêpe to retain the moisture and prevent it from making the pastry soggy’.
Dinner tonight: Hell’s Kitchen inspired beef Wellington, wrapped in ham and a mushroom and egg plant pate, served with a raddichio salad and sautéed green beans.
What do you need? Serves 4
700g Beef fillet
Veg: 6 mushrooms, 1/2 egg plant( brinjal), half an onion, green beans, fennel
Herb: 10 basil leaves
Spices: Salt & pepper, chili flakes, sugar
olive oil and basil infused olive oil
3 egg yolks, milk, margarine
What to do?
Start by brining the beef fillet, adding the moisture. 1/3 cup of salt, 2/3 cup of sugar to 1,5l of cold water. Add the beef fillet and let this stand over night, for about 24 hrs.
After this time, take out the brine and rinse off the salt in the beef. Sear the beef in a pan with olive oil, quickly, making sure you don’t cook it, just seal in the moisture. Let this cool down.
Start making the mushroom/ egg plant pate. In a pan with 25ml olive oil, add the chopped onion and 3 cloves of garlic and soften. Then add chopped mushrooms and egg plant and chopped basil. Let this sauté for 5 minutes, then season with a pinch of pepper and salt( please make sure you under-season; the beef fillet will be a bit more salt after the brining process). Add 50 ml of water and continue cooking for 2 more minutes, then lightly blend to make a coarse pate. Let this cool down.
Place cling wrap on the counter, about 45x30cm. On cling wrap layer the ham, then the mushroom/egg plant pate on top of the ham, then place the seared beef fillet on top of the layers of ham and pate. Wrap this gently around the fillet and rest for a few minutes
On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. Making it thin, but not see-through thin. Layer the puff pastry on cling wrap, then the wrapped ham/fillet on top of the puff pastry. Roll the pastry around the fillet, making sure the seam where the two edges meet is not too thick. Brush your wrap with beaten egg yolk and score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife. Pop on to the oven tray with baking paper, into the oven at 230 deg for 5 min, and lower the heat to 180 deg and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
While the beef Wellington is cooking, make your veg. Cut green beans to the same length, sauté them in 2 tbs of basil infused olive oil for 3 min, seasoning with salt & pepper.
Boil cleaned and chopped fennel in salted water. When soft, add a knob of flora margarine and a splash of milk and blend into a smooth purée.
When the time has elapsed on the oven, take out the beef Wellington and rest it for 10 minutes. Then cut through your Wellington and serve on a bed of green beans and fennel purée, garnished with a radicchio salad. Dress the Wellington with the basil olive oil from the green beans.
For a home cook who’s never done this before, who makes up things as she goes along. Mostly because she doesn’t like following other peoples discoveries. I think I did pretty well, Wellington turned out beautifully pink on the on the inside and moist. My biggest fear was over cooking the fillet and it turning out dry but my completely made up timing worked! Super psyched