YIELD: Serves 6 guests
2-1/4 lb (about 4 inches in diameter) center cut filet of beef, trimmed
Sea salt and black pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1-1/3 lb mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1-14 lb free range chicken livers, cleaned
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp truffle oil, (optional)
3-1/2 Tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 lb block puff pastry
1 large free range egg, beaten
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 heaping tsp black currant jam
1/3 cup Madeira wine
1 heaping tsp English mustard
2 heaping tsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2-1/2 cups organic beef stock, hot
Preheat a large frying pan on a high heat. Rub the beef all over with sea salt and black pepper. Pour a good lug (about 3 tablespoons or so) of olive oil into the pan then add the beef, 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 sprig of rosemary. Sear the beef for 4 minutes, turning regularly with tongs. Once seared, turn off heat, then remove beef from pan and set on a plate. Once mostly cooled, wipe out the pan then return pan to a medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms to the pan with the remaining tablespoon of butter and another lug of oil. Strip in the rest of the rosemary leaves and cook for 15 minutes or until soft and starting to caramelize, stirring regularly. Toss the chicken livers and Worcestershire sauce into the pan and cook for another few minutes, then pour all pan contents onto a large board and drizzle with the truffle oil (if using). Finely chop it all by hand with a big knife, to a rustic, spreadable consistency. season with salt and black pepper to taste, then stir in the breadcrumbs.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a flour-dusted surface, roll out the pastry to roughly 12 inches x 16 inches. With one of the longer edges in front of you, spread the mushroom pâté over the pastry, leaving a 2 inch gap at either end and at the edge furthest away from you, then brush these edges with beaten egg. Sit the beef on the pâté, then starting with the edge nearest to you, snugly wrap the pastry around the beef, pinching the ends to seal. Transfer the Wellington to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper, with the pastry seal at the base, and brush all over with egg wash (you can prep to this stage, then refrigerate until needed. Make sure to get Wellington out about and hour before cooking so it’s not too cold). When you’re ready to cook, heat the tray on the cook top for a couple of minutes to start crisping up the base, then transfer to the oven and cook for 40 minutes for a blushing, juicy beef – the two end portions will be more cooked, but usually some people prefer that.
For the gravy, peel and roughly chop the onions and put into a large pan on medium heat with about 2-3 tablespoons of oil and the thyme leaves. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the jam and simmer until shiny and dark. Add the Madeira, flame with a match, cook away, then stir in the mustard and flour, gradually followed by the stock. Simmer to the consistency you like, then blend with an immersion blender and pass through a sieve, or leave chunky if you prefer.
Once cooked, rest the Wellington for 5 minutes, then serve in 1-1/4 inch thick slices with the gravy.