This dish is also known as Beef Wellington, and I like to think it was created for the Duke of Wellington after his success at Waterloo. This receipt seems very complicated, I know, but well worth it and you can always buy frozen pastry instead of making it. The pastry case is prepared in two parts: a shortcrust bottom to hold the beef, which avoids the sogginess imparted to flaky pastry by juices from the meat and mushrooms, and a flaky pastry top.
To prepare the marinade, heat the oil in a saucepan, add all the vegetables, herbs and spices, cover and cook gently until tender. Place the fillet in a long non-metallic dish or casserole, sprinkle with the salt, cover with the vegetable mixture, and pour on the vermouth and brandy. Cover and leave in a cool place or a refrigerator for 24 hours, turning and basting every few hours.
Meanwhile blend the pastry ingredients (except the softened butter) together and chill for 2 hours before using. Butter the outside of a
Scrape the marinade off the meat, reserve it for the sauce, and dry with kitchen paper. Rub the meat with oil and put in a roasting pan, cover with oiled foil and place in a preheated oven at 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Roast for 25 minutes, turning and basting halfway through the cooking time. Remove from oven and cool for 30 minutes.
Sauté the mushrooms and shallots in the butter for about 8 minutes, add the Madeira and boil rapidly until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in
Roll the remaining pastry into a
Place the baked bottom case on a buttered baking sheet, spread half the sautéed mushroom mixture on the bottom of the case. Remove the string from the beef, place it on top of the mushrooms and cover with the rest. Beat the egg with half a teaspoon of water and paint the sides of the case, press together and trim if necessary. Paint with the egg glaze. Make cross-hatch marks over the pastry and three vent holes
To make the sauce, simmer the marinade with the mushroom ketchup in the beef stock and tomato purée for 1 hour. When reduced to
© 1998 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.