Beef Wellington

Serves 6

  • 2 pound fillet of beef (tenderloin is best)
  • 2 teaspoons brandy
  • 3 ounces pate
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound small muchrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • salt & freshly-ground black pepper
  • puff pastry (Sarah Lee frozen) OR 1 package refrigerated dinner roll dough
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  1. Defrost puff pastry 2 hours at room temperature.
  2. Trim all fat & membrane from beef, brush with brandy, rub with pepper and tie into a neat bolster shape.   Heat a frying pan over high heat.   Add butter.   When foaming hot, brown & sear the beef all over.   Lower the heat and fry the beef more gently for 10-12 minutes, turning it to cook evenly.   Remove from pan & cool.   Saute the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, then remove with slotted spoon.   Next soften the onions & garlic in the fat remainng in the pan.   Drain off fat, mix the vegetables, season generously & leave to cool completely.
  3. Roll the pastry into a rectangle slightly wider than the beef and more than twice its length (or use 2 sheets of Sarah Lee).   Lay half the cold vegetables near one end of the pastry, in an oblong about the size of the meat.
  4. Remove the string from the cold meat and lay it on top of the vegetables.   Beat the pate until soft, spread it over the beef, & lay the rest of the vegetables on top.   Brush the pastry borders with beaten egg.   Fold the pastry over the meat to encase it completely, pinch the seams securely to seal & trim away the excess pastry.   Use the extra pastry to make decorations, sticking them on with beaten egg.   Carefully lift the parcel of beef onto a baking sheet, with the help of a pancake turner.   Chill at least 30 minutes to let the pastry recover from handling.
  5. Preheat an oven to 425 degrees F.   Brush pastry all over with beaten egg (makes it turn a pretty brown).   Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 12-15 minutes.