Friday, 15 January 2010

Beef Wellington with Potato and Parsnip Tower and Peas

Beef Wellington with Potato and Parsnip Tower and PeasBeef Wellington is a delicious way of preparing a quality fillet of beef. It is often perceived for some reason as being difficult to make but the reality could not be further from the truth.

Ingredients (For Two people)

1/2lb fillet of beef
6oz puff pastry
3 rashers of unsmoked bacon
1 medium parsnip
2 medium potatoes
Frozen peas as required
1 egg for glazing
Sunflower oil for frying
Butter for greasing baking tray
Freshly ground black pepper

Sealing Beef for Beef Wellington in Frying PanMethod

The first step when making Beef Wellington is to seal the fillet of beef in a frying pan with a little sunflower oil. The beef should be seasoned with freshly ground black pepper then added to the heated pan and cooked for around half a minute on a high heat on each side until fully sealed. Do not forget to seal the two ends as well as the four sides. The beef should be held upright with cooking tongs at this stage. When the beef is sealed, remove the pan from the heat and allow the beef to rest and cool.

When the beef is cool, three rashers of bacon should be laid out side by side on a large sheet of clingfilm and the beef placed lengthwise in the centre. The bacon rashers should then be wrapped tightly around the beef and the clingfilm sealed, the ends twisted like a Christmas cracker. The parcel should then be refrigerated for at least an hour.

Put the oven on to preheat to 400F/200C/Gas mark 6. Take one third of the pastry and roll it on on a floured board to a thickness of about an 1/8" and so that it is large enough to accomodate the beef fillet with a border remaining of at least 1/2" all the way round. Transfer the pastry on to a baking sheet lightly greased with butter and unwrap the beef and bacon parcel, sitting it carefully on to the pastry.

Beef WellingtonThe remaining pastry should then be rolled out to a similar thickness and to a size where it is going to be large enough to snugly cover the fillet and seal around the edges of the bottom sheet of pastry. The beef fillet and the borders of the bottom sheet of pastry should then be brushed with beaten egg and the larger sheet of pastry carefully placed on top, pressed in to a snug fitting position and sealed gently around the edges between forefinger and thumb. Three small slits should then be made on the top of the pastry to allow steam to escape during cooking and the parcel glazed with the remaining egg mixture. The tray should then be placed in the oven for around twenty-five minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.

The parsnip should then be scraped and the potatoes thoroughly washed. The parsnip and the potatoes should then be sliced across the way in to 1/4" thick discs. Immediately before the Beef Wellington is removed from the oven, the discs should be added to a pot of boiling, salted water and simmered for a total of fifteen minutes.

The Beef Wellington should then be removed from the oven, placed on a plate and covered loosely with aluminium foil to rest, while the potato and parsnip discs cook. The peas should be added to another pan of boiling water and simmered - per the instructions on the pack - for what is usually around three minutes.

The potato and parsnip discs and the peas should be drained and the potato and parsnip discs used alternately to assemble a tower as shown in the top photograph in this recipe. The Beef Wellington should be thickly sliced with a very sharp carving knife and served with the peas, as also shown.

Cooking with Beef

Beef is one of my favourite cooking ingredients and there are of course so many different ways in which it can be cooked and so many different recipes which can be prepared using beef. The book below has to rate as one of the definitive beef cookbooks available on the market today, focusing not only upon beef recipes but how to cook lean beef in a healthy fashion. It is also presently available at bargain prices in the book stores/shops of both and

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