Does anything impress guests more than a beef wellington? With a perfectly tender, almost-fall-apart centre and a pretty-as-anything lattice pastry top, it truly is a stunner. Save this one for a special occasion and give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done.
625g (1 lb 6 oz) beef eye fillet (centre cut)
vegetable oil, for frying
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
¼ cup Dijon mustard
plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
2 sheets puff pastry
2 egg yolks, for brushing
cooked green beans, to serve
Mushroom duxelle filling
200g (7 oz) button or Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
6 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water, stems removed
2 red shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
20g (½ oz) unsalted butter
¼ cup Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion (scallions)
1 tbsp shiro miso paste
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
300g (10.5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
625ml (2½ cups) full cream milk
30ml (1 fl oz) melted unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped spring onion (scallions)
½ cup hoisin sauce
3 tbsp hot water
Place the eye fillet onto a large piece of cling wrap, then wrap up tightly into a cylindrical shape. Transfer to the fridge for 2 hours, or overnight.
Place the mushrooms, shallots and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the oil and butter. Once the butter has almost melted, add in the mushroom mixture. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until any moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the Shaoxing wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the mixture is dry once again. Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. Then stir through the spring onion, miso, mustard and lemon zest.
Meanwhile, to make the crepes, add flour into a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, add the milk, then crack in the eggs and add two-thirds of the melted butter. Whisk the liquid mixture until smooth then add to the flour. Whisk everything until smooth. Fold in the spring onion and season with salt. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
To cook the crepes, heat a 22cm (8.5”) pan over medium heat. Grease the pan with a little of the remaining melted butter before ladling enough crepe batter to just coat the bottom of the pan. Cook until set, then transfer to a plate. Cover with baking paper and repeat with the remaining crepe batter.
For the Sichuan pepper salt, toast the Sichuan peppercorns in a small frying pan until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind to a coarse consistency. Take the beef out of the fridge and remove the cling film. Generously sprinkle the beef with sea salt flakes.
Place a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add in oil and seal beef on all sides. Allow to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200C/390F and place a baking tray lined with baking (parchment) paper into the oven to preheat.
Once the beef has cooled to room temperature, generously brush it all over with the mustard. Sprinkle with the ground Sichuan peppercorns.
Lay crepes onto a large piece of cling wrap, slightly overlapping to create a rectangular shape. In the centre, spread out mushroom filling into a neat rectangular shape large enough to coat the beef fillet. Place the beef fillet in the centre.
Carefully wrap the crepe and mushroom layer over the beef, making sure to cover all of the sides. Roll into a log shape and tuck crepe under the long edge of the beef to neaten the finish. On the width edges of the beef, you’ll have lots of excess crepe, so use a pair of scissors to trim them down. Gently press the edges in, then wrap the whole construction tightly in cling film to secure the shape. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle a sheet of puff pastry with a light dusting of flour, then roll out to about 3mm (just under ⅛”) thick. Take beef out of freezer and carefully remove the clingfilm. Transfer beef to the pastry and roll the pastry over. You don’t want too much excess here, so once you’ve covered the length of the beef, trim the extra off with a sharp knife. Wrap the sides up (a bit like you’re wrapping a present!), then tuck any edge under the beef to neaten the finish. Brush with the beaten egg. Lay the remaining sheet of pastry onto your benchtop, then use a lattice roller to cut out a decorative strip and lightly dust with some flour. You may need to use a small sharp knife to cut through the lattice pattern as the roller might not have cut all the way through. Gently pull out the pastry to form the lattice. Then transfer the lattice pastry to the wellington and tuck the sides under. Brush with egg. Place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes.
Remove the tray from the preheated oven and transfer the wellington on to the hot tray. Bake in oven for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 46 degrees. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. In the meantime, make the hoisin sauce by mixing the ingredients in a small jug until it reaches pouring consistency. Serve wellington with hoisin sauce and green beans.