Discover how to make beef wellington plus some of our best recipes, including mini beef wellingtons, vegetarian wellington, vegan wellington and cauliflower wellington.
What kind of meat do you use for beef wellington?
Beef wellington is classically made with fillet steak, as this is a very lean cut of meat. As it’s being cooked inside a pastry case, a cut with too much fat wouldn’t render and could be tough and fatty. The leanness of fillet means that the slower cooking will give you a tender piece of meat.
How do I cook a beef wellington?
Start by searing your steak on all sides in a hot pan. This is the only caramelisation the steak will get, so this will ensure a more delicious wellington. Remove from the pan and cook finely chopped shallots and finely chopped mushrooms until all of their water has been released and evaporated, and the mix is very dry – this is known as a ‘farce’. Cool this completely.
Roll out your puff pastry, lay out some slices of parma ham and then add a layer of mushroom farce, then your steak. Wrap the farce all the way around, and then encase completely in parma ham and puff pastry. Lightly score the pastry with the back of a knife, just for decoration and brush really well with beaten egg. Cook at 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 – different fillet/steak sizes will require different timings.
Tips for making beef wellington
Chill your wellingtons before cooking. Cold pastry, filling and steak will ensure you get the best results – your steak is more likely to be medium rare when cooking from cold, as it will take longer to overcook. Pastry is always better cooked from chilled, this will ensure crisp pastry.
Traditionally wellingtons were wrapped in a thin pancake instead of parma ham. This acts like a thin sponge, to soak up any juices that leak out when cooking or resting, so there’s no chance of a soggy bottom. Swap in thin pancakes instead of parma ham for extra security.
Rest the wellington well. If it’s cut into too soon, juice from the meat will flood out and soak straight into your pastry.
- Total time 1 hours 30 minutes
- Note + chilling
- Difficulty A little effort
- beef fillet 1kg, not a tail end
- olive oil
- all-butter puff pastry 500g pack
- egg 1, beaten
- shallots 500g, finely chopped
- button mushrooms 500g, stalks removed and finely chopped
- salted butter 200g
- truffle oil
Make the duxelles the day before. Fry the shallots and mushrooms gently in butter until they become pulp, about 1 hour, add more butter if the mix looks dry. Add a drop of truffle oil. Cool and chill.
Heat the oven to 220c/fan 200/gas 7. Pat the trimmed beef fillet with crushed black pepper. Heat a frying pan with a little oil until it is very hot and sear the beef all over. Leave to cool completely. Roll the beef in the duxelles, patting and pressing it all over the beef.
Roll out the pastry, put the beef in the centre of one half (press back any bits of duxelles that fall off) and fold the pastry over the top. Seal the edge (wet the edge a little to help it stick) and then trim off any excess. Crimp the edges and make a leaf to decorate the top with any extra pastry. Brush with beaten egg.
Cook for 30 minutes or until the pastry is browned and crisp. If your piece of beef was very fat it may need longer. The best way to test is to neatly and carefully stick a skewer into the beef, count to three and then test it against your inner wrist. If it is cold the beef will be raw, if it is warm then the beef will be rare and if it’s hot, it’ll be cooked through. Leave to sit for half an hour before carving.
Try these five variations on a classic beef wellington:
These mini beef wellingtons are packed with beef and mushrooms and made easy with shop-bought puff pastry. Ready in 45 minutes these not-too-tricky individual wellingtons make for a great main dish at your next festive dinner party with friends.
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Looking for a show-stopping festive main dish? This recipe for venison wellington is a great twist on a classic British favourite. It takes a little while but is easy to make and impressive enough to serve to guests over the festive season.
Looking for a veggie showstopper recipe to serve your vegan guests this Christmas? Check out our impressive vegan wellington packed with roasted red peppers, cooked beetroot and kale. Plus, we’ve made a vegan stuffing and glazed the pastry in marmite to take this wellington to the next level. Discover more vegan recipes here.
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Impress loved ones this Christmas season with our stunning veggie beef wellington recipe. This veggie wellington is packed with big bold flavours and looks impressive – the perfect vegetarian Christmas or New Year dish. Try one of our other vegetarian entertaining recipes
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Swap beef for saffron-spiced cauliflower in this impressive veggie wellington, perfect for a meat-free festive feast. This recipe comes from east London’s Bubala restaurant
[image id=”154605″ size=”landscape_thumbnail” align=”none” crop=”10px,2495px,3981px,2652px” title=”Cauliflower wellington” alt=”A golden pastry crust with a cauliflower filling on a wooden table” classes=””]
- kcals 568
- fat 42.9g
- carbs 6.1g
- fibre 2.3g
- protein 39.8g
- salt 0.8g