Recipe – Individual Beef Wellingtons (Valentine’s Special)

Not everyone is good in the kitchen, and it may be a bit of a generalisation, but this is especially true for men. I’’ve met several chaps over the years whose cooking expertise extends only to microwaving a pasty. Valentine’’s Day comes around only once a year and presents the perfect opportunity for men to show their loved ones how good they are (or their potential!) in the kitchen.

I’’ve looked at a number of luxurious (and somewhat romantic) foods and put together this simple Individual Beef Wellingtons recipe –- dead easy to make in 45 minutes, looks the business, and is amazing in flavour. So come on fellas, time to shine!

To serve you and your better half you will need…

  • Two small steaks, preferably Rib Eye or Fillet, around 150g each. Make sure there is some marbeling (fat streaks) running through.
  • 1 onion
  • 2 flat mushrooms
  • Small pack of Ardennes Pate
  • 1 roll of Puff Pastry, taken out the fridge an hour before using
  • Half kilo of new potatoes
  • 1pack purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1 egg

Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees. Place the potatoes in a pan of salted boiling water. Cut the ends off the broccoli so it fits in the pot you are using. If you have a steamer you can place the broccoli in the slotted section above the potatoes, otherwise place the broccoli in a separate pot with 1 inch of water in the base. Leave to the side.

Finely chop the onions and dice the mushrooms as shown. Place 20g of butter in a frying pan and fry the onions on a high heat for 5 minutes, then turn the heat down a little and add the mushrooms with a little oil, salt and pepper, frying for a further 5-7 minutes until the mushrooms are soft, brown and floppy. Pour everything into a bowl lined with a kitchen towel and leave to one side to cool.

Add a little more oil to the same pan and heat at full whack until it starts to smoke. Then add the steaks. Cook for around 60-90 seconds on each side. Place on a kitchen towel on a plate and leave everything for 10 minutes to cool.

Once the 10 minutes is up, turn on your potatoes to cook. Make sure they don’t boil over.

Get a baking sheet or baking tray and line with greaseproof paper. Don’t worry if you don’t have any paper, you can grease the tray or sheet with butter instead.

Open up the pastry sheet and cut down the middle of the longer side as shown, to give two square-ish rectangles. In the middle of each block, spread a little pâté, to around 5mm thick, about the same size as the steak. Then, add a covering of the onion/mushroom mix to the top of the pâté. Don’t worry if you have some left over. Place the steaks on top.

Beat the egg. Then on one of the steak, fold one side of pastry over the steak, brushing the top with egg. Then fold the other side over, making sure that before you stick it down to the egg, you cut off any excess. You only need around a 1 inch overlap.

Turn the parcel over so the seam is underneath. Pinch the ends shut and use a fork to seal them and make a pretty pattern. Repeat this process with the other steak parcel.

Transfer to the baking tray (keeping the seal side down) and brush the tops, ends and sides with egg. If you’re feeling creative, use any remaining pastry to cut out a shape for the top of each parcel. I did a heart for Valentine’s but you could do anything! Brush that with egg on both sides and stick onto the top of the parcels. Place the baking sheet in the oven.

Cook the Beef Wellingtons for around 16 minutes, check that they aren’t getting too brown otherwise take them out a little early.

If cooking separately, turn the broccoli on to boil just after adding the parcels to the oven. Hopefully they, together with the potatoes, should be cooked at the same time as the Beef Wellingtons.

Plate everything up, add a knob of butter to the potatoes and present your amazing dish to your better half.

It goes well with a lovely bottle of red wine; I use an Argentinian Malbec, which is rather lovely.

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