Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beef Wellington

Once again inspired by damn 12 year olds cooking Lamb Wellington, we decided that it wasn't too difficult (boy were we wrong!) and tried to make a Beef Wellington ourselves!

Contrary to what its name may suggest, this dish did not originate from the capital of NZ.

Beef Wellington

- Beef steak : big enough for two
- Button mushrooms
- Onion : 1, diced
- Frozen Puff Pastry : 1/3 pack
- S&P
- Red Wine : 1/2 cup
- Beef Stock : 1/2 cube
- Some twigs of asparagus

First up, we seared the beef slightly on each side - from what we read this was supposed to seal in the juices. Unfortunately after lightly searing it already looks good enough to eat! I suppose this recipe could end right here if you want.

The end.

If you want to continue making Beef Wellington, fry up your chopped onions and mushrooms until soft. This is supposed to go over the beef before you wrap the bugger up - almost all recipes will call for liver pate or a mushroom duxelle, but since we were lacking a food processor we just fried that shit up!

Leave the mushrooms mixture and the beef to cool. In the mean taime, roll out your thawed puff pastry - while puff pastry is not that hard to make, the frozen ones are already super good and not expensive! A small $4 pack is good for 3 big beef wellingtons or dozens of tiny pie desserts. So anyway, roll it out so that it fits the hunka beef, cover the beef with the mushroom mixture, then fold and seal!

Egg wash that mofo! Then toss in the oven for about 20 minutes at 220 celsius or until golden brown. That's it! We had some leftover mixture which we will just serve on the side.

We made a simple red wine reduction sauce - mix the red wine and the beef stock cube with 1/2 cup of water and let it simmer (tossed in a bayleaf for good measure).

Also drowned some asparagus in there to soak up the flavour.

Unfortunately during this time we were horrendously distracted by Food Network Asia and returned to the kitchen 10 minutes later than we were supposed to D: The beef stayed in the oven 10 minutes too long, and the asparagus was boiling 10 minutes too long as well. Regardless, out comes ze bouef wellington.

Also you are now treated to a view of a portion of my kitchen/front door.

Served alongside our soggy drunken asparagus!

While this may not be the bestest rendition of beef wellington in the history of beef wellingtons, I must say this was a pretty good first timer effort! It was actually very wet when we cut into the pastry. Not sure why this happened (should we have poked holes on the pastry? put less mushrooms? cooked it 10 minutes too long? le sigh), but we certainly hope to improve! I benchmark all beef wellingtons against the excellent one I had at the British Club, and I'll make sure we aim for that standard :D

Quite unfortunately when we took it out of the oven, the pastry was leaking juices :( Also when we introduced the beef to the element of the knife, a stream of red liquid gushed out from the beef, making the pastry (at least the bottom part) damp and soggy. Not quite sure what went wrong here! As above, a couple of reasons could be :-

1) Use of onions and mushrooms - a duxelle would be relatively dry while pan fried onions and mushrooms retain a lot of moisture
2) No holes in pastry, trapping steam and condensing into itself, causing an infinite inception loop of liquid
3) Overcooking the beef causing the liquid in the beef to escape

Any suggestions would be welcome!

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