Beef Wellington

Ingredients to serve 6

1kg piece of the best beef fillet you can find
Salt and pepper
20g butter
1 garlic clove
1 sprig of thyme
200g wild mushrooms, cleaned
1 teaspoon truffle oil
Small pinch of chopped parsley
1 Savoy cabbage
200g foie gras (optional)
500g block of all-butter puff pastry
1 egg, to glaze

Few are they who don't get excited about this dish. Ruby-red beef fillet with earthy mushrooms and indulgent foie gras in a shield of crisp puff pastry. Leave out the foie gras if you think it's too much.

Season the fillet liberally. Heat a large pan and, when hot, quickly brown the beef on all sides. Remove from the pan, put on a plate, allow to cool then put into the fridge to chill.

Melt the butter in a small pan. Crush the garlic and add to the pan with the thyme. Finely chop the mushrooms, add to the pan and fry until lightly browned, then season and stir in the truffle oil and parsley. Set aside to chill.

Pull off the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut out the thick middle stem. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove and plunge into cold water. Drain, squeeze out excess moisture and lay the leaves out, overlapping, so they are big enough to wrap the fillet. Spread the mushrooms over the middle. Slice the foie gras, if using, and lay on top. Finally put the fillet on top and wrap the leaves round it. Make sure there are no gaps (this helps keep the juices away from the pastry). Place in the fridge to firm up.

Roll the pastry into a rectangle large enough to cover the whole fillet. Place the fillet in the middle and wrap one side of the pastry right over so it meets the other side. Crimp the edges all round. Place in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set the pastry. Beat an egg with a pinch of salt and brush all over to glaze it.

Heat the oven to 200C. Heat a large baking tray to hot, then place the Wellington directly on it. The pastry will take about 30 minutes to cook. To serve the beef rare will take about 40 minutes, so turn the oven down to 180C after 20 minutes so the pastry doesn't burn. If you like it well done, add 20 minutes to the cooking time. Remove and rest the Wellington for 15 minutes somewhere warm. Slice and serve.

Taken from 'The Fabulous Baker Brothers' (Headline, £20).

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