Beef in Pastry

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In the classic Beef Wellington the beef fillet is surrounded by a mixture of chopped and sautéed onion and mushroom and a good liver pâté, but you can simplify this, as I often do by using only pâté with extra flavourings. You can make your own flaky pastry or use ready-made puff pastry. Serve with béarnaise sauce or creamed horseradish.

For a 1kg (2lb) fillet of beef to serve 6–8 people you will need a mixture made from 2 teaspoons crushed green peppercorns, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley and 175g (6oz) liver pâté.

Method

  1. On a lightly floured surface roll out 500g (1lb) pastry fairly thinly to a rectangle large enough to enclose the beef Spread about one-third of the pâté mixture down the centre of the pastry making sure it is as wide and as long as the fillet. Place the beef on top, then cover the top and sides with the remaining mixture.

  2. Turn the corners and the long edges of the pastry so that the long edges meet on top of the fillet and fold up to enclose. Moisten the edges with water and press to seal. Fold up the end pastry, moisten with water and seal to make a neat parcel. Cut out decorations from the pastry trimmings.

  3. Attach the decorations to the pastry with water, using a pastry brush. Pierce 2 holes for the steam to escape. Place the parcel join-side down on a baking sheet and chill for at least 30 minutes. Brush on beaten egg yolk. Cook at 220° C, 425°F, Gas Mark 7 for 45 minutes for rare; let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

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