individual beef wellington w/ foie gras, pata negra & duxelle aux cèpes et girolles

Time for part two of the welcome meal we served the owners of our chalet, individual beef wellington (filled with foie gras, pata negra and a duxelle of porcini and girolle mushrooms), sautéed girolles, buttered asparagus, pomme hérrisons and a beef & rosemary jus.

The pata negra (lit. black leg) is breed of wild spanish pork which are fed on acorns and have 1.2 acres to roam per pig!

The best place to start with this recipe is at the fillings for the wellingtons;

So there are quite a few steps to this recipe so make sure to set out enough time so you can relax and take your time. All part of this dish can be prepared the day before.

method

make the duxelle

  1. Thoroughly clean the cèpes (porcini) and girolles to remove all dirt
  2. Set aside roughly five of the best girolles per person to be sautéed and served as garnish
  3. Finely chop the stems of the mushrooms, you can use a food processor to do this
  4. Chop the caps of the mushrooms roughly, if using a food processor pulse to chop coarsely
  5. Finely chop one medium white onion and sweat in butter
  6. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook over a medium heat until it stops releasing steam (it is best to do this in a large frying pan to maximise the surface area)
  7. season to taste with salt and pepper
  8. Spread out on a tray lined with cling film to a thickness of about 5mm
    (Tip; place cling film over the top and roll out)
  9. Set aside to cool

trimming the asparagus

The picture is pretty self-explanatory, simply cut off about 25% from the bottom of the spears (you can keep these off-cuts to make a soup). Then gently run a knife around the base (about an inch up) and scrape downwards from the score to remove the skin. This is mostly for aesthetics as you have already removed the fibrous ends.

searing the steaks

This is an important stage to add the lovely caramelised steak flavours (see Maillard reaction), otherwise we would have a poached steak in puff pastry and that would still be OK but not quite ‘on the money’.

  1. Get a dry pan as hot a possible
  2. Oil the steaks lightly
  3. Sear in the HOT pan on all sides

    see how little the steaks have cooked

  4. Return steaks to fridge to cool and re-firm.

sear the foie gras

Allow a thick slice per portion, it’s really up to you how big you make them or whether you include it at all.

  1. Using the same pan as the steaks, quickly sear the foie gras on both sides to colour (30 seconds max per side otherwise the foie will dry out and burn).
  2. Set aside to cool, reserve the rendered fat in pan to brush potatoes with later. (This might sound strange, but is just really tasty duck fat and everybody knows that duck fat and potatoes are best friends!)

assemble the wellington

So time to build these delicious ‘little’ parcels.

  1. take puff pastry out of fridge and allow to warm very slighty so that it does not crack when you unroll it.
  2. lay out 1 puff pastry round on the paper it comes in (or on a floured surface)
  3. cut out 4 quarter circles from the round to make a cross, keeping the off cuts for decoration.
  4. place steak in the centre of the cross.
  5. cut out a disk of duxelle with a pastry cutter which is the same size as the steak
  6. next add the pata negra ham (this is lomo, a cured pork loin)
  7. add the seared foie gras and season with salt and pepper
  8. start to close the parcels by lifting the four corners of the cross up and over each other (there’s no real reason to use an egg wash here unless you have floured the pastry)
  9. close the parcel and with the reserved off cuts decorate the wellingtons however you like, (I have made strips but you can do something a bit more adventurous).
  10. egg wash and season
  11. place in fridge until needed

make the jus

  1. finely dice an onion
  2. remove tender parts of rosemary from branch
  3. sweat onion and rosemary in a little butter
  4. when onions are soft turn heat to high and add a cup of red wine
  5. reduce to almost nothing, being careful not to let the pan dry out and burn
  6. add 1 litre of beef stock, good quality powdered stock is fine
  7. reduce to a thick ‘gravy like’ consistency (add more powdered stock if too thin, or a little cornflour dissolved in cold water if the flavour is where you would like it)
  8. reserve and heat before serving

pommes hérisson

These are my version of hassleback potatoes, instead of cutting the potatoes in thin strips I cut both ways to make kind of tiny chips all sticking up, hence the name pommes hérisson (French for hedgehog). Really simple method:

  1. cut potatoes down in strips taking care not to cut all the way through (Tip: you can place two wooden spoons on the chopping board and put the potato in between them to stop the knife hitting the bottom)
  2. turn the potato 90° and cut again
  3. season with salt and pepper
  4. drizzle the reserved foie gras fat and fluff the ‘chips’ so they aren’t all touching

cook and assemble

Ok so all the prep. is done and you are ready to cook and serve this wonderful creation.

  1. pre-heat oven to 185°c
  2. cook potatoes for around an hour or until they are soft on the bottom and crispy on top
  3. the wellingtons will take roughly 25 to 30 mins depending on how you like your steak cooked, place in oven before the potatoes are ready so it comes together at roughly the same time (potatoes will stay warm for some time and the wellington will need to rest for 5-10 mins so have some leeway)
  4. put jus on low heat to warm and keep till needed
  5. the asparagus is heated in butter not sautéed and this can be warming and gently cooking while you do other things
  6. when potatoes and wellingtons are done to liking take out of oven and allow the beef to rest
  7. sauté the girolles in a very hot pan with butter and salt & pepper just before plating
  8. cut the wellingtons in half to reveal the contents
  9. plate all components and finish with jus

What you'll need

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