I have always wanted to cook this delectable 70’s dinner party dish but was not too confident as to how it would turn out. With my Husband, Sister and Brother-in-law as guinea pigs I felt that all would be forgiven after a few vino’s if they turned out to be a dismal failure. I am utterly stoked to say they were a huge success! Tender beef wrapped in glorious mushroom duxelle and thin slices of prosciutto prevented the golden, buttery pastry from becoming a soggy lump on the plate. Accompanied by a light but creamy cauliflower puree and topped with a rich red wine reduction (pause as I am salivating just thinking about it) these immensely satisfying bundles of joy were a sensation!
Although a little fiddly and time consuming, I don’t believe this dish requires a huge amount of cheffy skill. Just be patient, don’t worry about getting your hands dirty. Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the process!
Prep time: 1 Hour Cooking time: 45 minutes $$_$$$ Moderately expensive (but so worth it)
Olive oil for frying
20gm of butter
4 x 200gm pieces of centre cut beef fillet*
4 sheets of puff pastry
250gm of swiss brown mushrooms, whizzed up in a processor to breadcrumb consistency
1 small brown onion, finely diced
6 thyme sprigs, leaves removed from stem
8 slices of prosciutto
2 egg yolks, whisked
Sea salt and pepper
Thyme leaves for garnish
For the Red Wine Jus:
3 cups of good red wine
1 cup of beef stock
2 thyme sprigs
80gm of butter, diced
For the Cauliflower Puree:
1/2 a cauliflower (approx 400gm), roughly chopped
1/2 a cup of chicken stock
20gm of butter
100ml of cream
sea salt and pepper
This can be made ahead to the point where all you have to do is bake in the oven. I just popped the Welly’s in the fridge and covered with a damp tea towel to keep the pastry moist.
Pre heat the oven to 220°C
Heat a frypan and add a little oil and butter. Add the onion and fry until translucent before adding the thyme leaves and mushrooms. Fry the mushrooms on a high heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until they are cooked through and any water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper once cooked. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and place in a bowl for later.
Wipe the pan out and return to the heat. Drizzle a little olive oil over the beef fillets and season with salt and pepper. Rub the oil evenly into the beef and then sear for approximately 1 minute on each side or until browned all over. You don’t want to over cook the beef at this stage (or any stage) as it will cook properly in the oven.
Lay a sheet of pastry on the bench and place 2 slices of the prosciutto in a cross pattern in the centre of the pastry. Spoon over a few tablespoons of the mushroom mixture, keeping it on the prosciutto. Once you have spread it out evenly, place a beef fillet in the centre of the cross and grab the ends of the prosciutto to wrap it up all four sides of the beef. Don’t panic too much if it tears, just try and keep it as neat as possible.
Lift the edge of pastry closest to you and lift it up and over the beef, overlapping with the other side so you have a cylinder shape. Press firmly to seal the seam underneath and tuck the edges down with your hands. Trim the edges and seal with your thumbs and then tuck the outside edges under the parcel so that all of the seams are hidden underneath. Use the leftover pastry to cut out 3 leaf patterns and place them on top. Use a pastry brush to glaze the pastry with the egg yolk. Repeat with the remaining Welly’s. Once they are all done either pop them in the fridge with a damp tea towel or place them in the hot oven, 20 minutes for medium rare.
To make the cauliflower (can also be made ahead and reheated later), place the cauliflower in a saucepan with the butter and stock and season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Simmer for approximately 10-15 minutes or until the cauli is really tender when pierced with a knife. Add the cream, stir and use a stick blender or normal blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Have a taste and adjust any seasoning if necessary.
For the Jus, pour the red wine into a shallow pan (preferably the one you seared the beef in still with all of the brown bits on the bottom) and add the thyme sprigs. Bring the wine to the boil, reduce to a simmer and allow the wine to reduce by about half. Add the stock and again reduce by half until you have approximately 2 cups of liquid. Once reduced, strain the liquid through a sieve and discard the thyme leaves then return the liquid to the pan. Just before serving, season with salt and pepper and whisk the butter in a little at a time until you have a lovely, glossy sauce.
To serve, place a large dollop of cauliflower puree on one side of the plate and smear it across with the back of a spoon. place the Welly in the centre, drizzle over the Jus and scatter over a few thyme leaves. Serve with a side of steamed greens and sit proudly while your guests moan with utter delight!
*I bought two whole fillets and cut the centre pieces out myself. I set aside the leftovers for another meal. If you don’t want to do it that way ask your butcher for the centre cut about 1.5-2 inches thick for each piece