Behind every dish there is a history to be known, a feeling to share. Gastronomy are the senses and the passion turned into food to share. Love, comprehension, art, sorrow, creativity, joy, among others. Are converted into amazing creations. Every dish has a feeling, and people gather around to share these amazing moments.
“The Chef is not an isolated person, that lives and work only to feed his guests. A chef turns into an artist when he turns its feelings into dishes, like a painter in a picture.” Joan Miró
Each ingredient put in a recipe, mixed with others give a unique taste to the dish, but what we do not know is that behind all this, there are countless stories that happened in order to make these amazing creations.
The English cuisine is formed in style and traditions with their own distinctive features but also shares ingredients from other countries. This is because of the importation of flavours from North America, China, India, among others. This was in the days of the British Empire, as a result of post-war immigration. Given this, the Beef Wellington is one of the most famous dishes of England and enjoyed in the whole world.
There are two versions of how was Beef Wellington created. The firs one is that it was created in 1815 in honour of the Duke Wellington in the Battle of Waterloo. The second version is that this is the name that takes up due to the brightness with which it comes out of the oven, similar to a military riding boot. The term “Wellington” generally refers to meat cuts that are cooked in pastry. Whichever version is real, we have to thank for giving us the pleasure of enjoying so delicious creation.
There are two ways of preparing Beef Wellington, one being the English style and the other one the French style. In France, they use a brioche pastry while in England, they use puff pastry. One of the main qualities of pastry is that it concentrates the meat juices so it can be cooked properly.
Beef Wellington has gone around the world, and it is not as difficult to prepare, as it seems. I will give you the recipe so you can try it.
The Beef Wellington needs no side dish, but if you are like me that think that sides are always a delicious part of a dish too, I give some suggestions. Put a side of grilled vegetables like asparagus or some roasted baby potatoes, you will not regret it. And of course don not forget to drink your favourite wine with this amazing meal.
With this combination, you will conquer even the most discerning palates with no doubt. Always remembering what Guy de Maupassant said: “Cooking is the alchemy of love”
- 400g flat cap mushrooms, roughly chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 750g piece of prime beef fillet
- 1-2 tbsp English mustard
- 6-8 slices of Parma ham
- 500g ready-made puff pastry
- Flour, to dust
- 2 egg yolks, beaten
- Put the mushrooms into a food processor with some seasoning and pulse to a rough paste. Scrape the paste into a pan and cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes, tossing frequently, to cook out the moisture from the mushrooms. Spread out on a plate to cool.
- Heat in a frying pan and add a little olive oil. Season the beef and sear in the hot pan for 30 secs only on each side. (You don’t want to cook it at this stage, just colour it.) Remove the beef from the pan and leave to cool, then brush all over with the mustard.
- Lay a sheet of cling film on a work surface and arrange the Parma ham slices on it, in slightly overlapping rows. With a palette knife, spread the mushroom paste over the ham, then place the seared beef fillet in the middle. Keeping a tight hold of the cling film from the edge, neatly roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight barrel shape.
- Twit the ends of the cling film to secure. Chill for 15-20 mins to allow the beef to set and keep its shape. Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to a large rectangle, the thickness of a £1 coin. Remove the cling film from the beef, then lay in the centre. Brush the surrounding pastry with egg yolk. Fold the ends over, the wrap the pastry around the beef, cutting off any excess. Turn over, so the seam is underneath, and place on a baking sheet. Brush over all the pastry with egg and chill for about 15 mins to let the pastry rest.
- Heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6.
- Lightly score the pastry at 1cm intervals and glaze again with beaten egg yolk. Bake for 20 minutes , then lower the oven setting to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4 and cook for another 15 mins. Allow to rest for 10-15 mins before slicing and serving with the accompaniments. The beef should still be pink in the centre when you serve it.