Beef Wellington

A light variation on the classic Wellington, borne of a somewhat crippling mushroom allergy.

Serves 4 with plenty of leftovers

500g beef fillet – you may use a cheaper cut but as the meat will be very rare fillet is best.
1 good sized aubergine
2 banana shallots
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic
Fresh thyme
12 pancetta slices or thin streaky bacon
1 pack ready made puff pastry
a dash of cider vinegar
butter
olive oil
salt & pepper
1 beaten egg for wash

To make the aubergine duxelles
Finely dice the shallots and sautée in a touch of olive oil, once they have coloured slightly crush the garlic clove and add to the pan. Top, tail and dice the aubergine and add to the pan with the garlic and shallot. Season, add a knob of butter, dash of vinegar and a good handful of thyme until the aubergine begins to break up. Set aside to cool.

Preparing the beef
Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a hot pan seal on all sides in little butter and oil. Set aside to cool.

Assembling the wellington
On a large chopping board lay out the pancetta, overlapping the slices as you go, until you have covered an area large enough to wrap around the beef. Spread a layer of duxelles large enough to cover the beef on three sides before placing the beef in the centre of the pancetta/duxelles. Spread the remaining duxelles onto the top of the beef.

Using a large knife pick up the pancetta and wrap over the top of the beef then repeat with the other side. Return to the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.

Roll out the pastry to about 5mm thick, ensuring that it is large enough to cover the beef parcel. Place the chilled Wellington in the centre and fold the pastry over the narrow ends of the beef. Use a pastry brush and the beaten egg to stick together any crossing over pastry sections and seal any seams.

Turn the parcel over so that the seam is down and score the top with a knife to make a diamond pattern before egg washing. Bake in the oven at Gas Mark 6 / 200’c for 30 minutes.

A wellington is meant to be rare, but of you prefer your meat a little more cooked simply leave it in the oven for a bit longer! (15 minutes will take the beef to medium/medium rare)

Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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