About this recipe:An easy, make-ahead, delicious way to serve fillet. A nice twist on the standard beef Wellington - without the traditional pâté de foie gras. You'll want flavourful mushrooms like criminis, portobellos or even porcinis or morels. For the wine, choose something rich you would actually drink - a good Shiraz is fantastic.
Spencer & Serena
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (170g) beef fillet steaks
1 tablespoon butter
225g fresh white mushrooms, minced
5 tablespoons minced shallot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons red wine
4 (15cm) squares of shop-bought puff pastry
350ml red wine
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons milk
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Heat the olive oil in a heavy frying pan over high heat until very hot. Sear the fillets until well-browned on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove the fillets from the frying pan, and chill in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Fillets must be cold.
In the same frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, and cook and stir the mushrooms, shallot and garlic until the shallots are tender and translucent and the mushrooms have given off their juices, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons of red wine, scraping and dissolving any browned flavour bits from the pan. Transfer the mushroom mix into a bowl, and chill in refrigerator for about 45 minutes.
Place 2 pieces of puff pastry on a work surface, and top each with a chilled fillet. Spread half the mushroom mixture in a neat layer on top of of each fillet, and top each with a piece of puff pastry. Fold and pinch the edges of the pastry together, sealing in the contents and trim to make a tidy parcel. Cut a small slit into the top of each parcel. Set parcels aside in the fridge.
Pour 350ml of red wine into a saucepan over medium heat, and simmer until the wine is reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Season wine sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, whisk egg into milk in a bowl, and brush the pastry parcels with the egg mixture for a browner crust, if desired. Return the parcels to the refrigerator to keep cold.
Preheat an oven to 230 C / Gas 8. Line a baking tray with parchment.
Place the puff pastry parcels onto the prepared baking tray, and bake in the preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and crisp and the fillets are the desired degree of doneness (for medium-rare, about 15 minutes; a meat thermometer inserted into the centre should read 54 degrees C). Serve each parcel with spoonfuls of wine sauce on top.
You can pause after step 2 as well as after step 3 to partially make the dish ahead, and finish up later.
You can get decorative if you choose - use the trimmings or extra pastry to cut leaves or make a little bow.
I followed the recipe to the letter. I found the meat to be perfectly cooked, though i think 2 cloves of garlic is was one too many....and as for the red wine reduction it was awful! the pastry turned out quite soggy on the bottom but i didnt mind that.
a few tweeks would see this recipe gain a great deal (but how often do you want to TRY stuff with fillet though??) - 12 Aug 2011