20 March 2016
I have to confess that I’m a little excited this week. The request for this recipe came from Nicko’s Kitchen, which is a pretty big name on the YouTube food scene. This is basically the equivalent of a busker being approached by a world-famous artist and being asked to perform for them. Well, not exactly, but close enough!
For those of you who don’t know him, Nicko runs the super-popular YouTube Channel Nicko’s Kitchen. We’re talking about millions of views, over a million subscribers, over one-and-a-half million ‘Likes’ on Facebook, over ten thousand followers on Twitter, and almost eighteen thousand followers on Instagram. This is essentially celebrity status.
Unfortunately, this makes cooking for Nicko much more daunting, as he undoubtedly has a ton of experience when it comes to food. Still, I’m always up for a challenge!
Back to the recipe at hand, some of you may not be familiar with Beef Wellington. Traditionally, it’s a seared beef fillet smothered with paté, wrapped in a herb crepe, then wrapped again in pastry and baked until medium-rare (or less).
There’s already a slew of different versions, so here’s my interpretation.
800g-1kg beef eye fillet, trimmed of fat
300g swiss brown mushrooms, blended until minced
4 savoy cabbage leaves, large
30g unsalted butter
Hot English mustard
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Shortcrust pastry OR puff pastry
Okay, so as you see there’s no paté or crepes in the above ingredients. Personally, I think you don’t NEED to cover a big chunk of meat with a paste made out of livers! You don’t NEED to wrap something with a crepe if you’re then going to wrap it in pastry anyway! In this rare instance I’ve decided to take the slightly healthier route, and replaced these superfluous elements with vegetables instead.
As I’ve mentioned on a few occasions previously, I prefer swiss brown mushrooms in almost all cases. As usual, if you can’t find them (or don’t want them), feel free to use portabello mushrooms, field mushrooms, or button mushrooms. And to clarify, when I say ‘minced’, I mean it’s basically a chunky paste (sounds appetising, right? Don't worry, it tastes awesome by the time you're finished!).
The same goes for the savoy cabbage. If you use a different type of cabbage, just make sure that the leaves are big enough, and that the stems aren’t too chunky.
I haven’t given a precise measurement for the mustard or olive oil, and that’s because it’s sort of up to your own judgment; maybe you want to use a little less oil, or maybe you can’t handle too much mustard? If I had to choose a number, I’d say approx. 2 tbsp of each should be sufficient for the recipe.
The type of pastry you use is also up to you. Buy it, make it yourself, whatever! Just make sure you have enough to wrap up everything up at the end. For the purposes of this recipe, I used the same shortcrust pastry that I used for my Steak and Stout Pie recipe a few months ago. If you don't make your own pastry, then this could be considered an Intermediate recipe, rather than Advanced.
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F) and line a baking tray with some baking paper.
2. Sprinkle some salt, pepper and olive oil over the beef fillet and rub until coated all over.
3. Place the fillet into a pan over medium-high heat and sear on all sides for 2-3 minutes each, then remove from the pan and place aside to cool.
4. Leave the pan on the heat, and place in the butter along with some more olive oil until melted and sizzling.
5. Add the minced mushrooms to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and fry until browned and all liquid has evaporated, then remove from the pan and place aside to cool. (It’s worth mentioning that the juices released by the mushrooms will deglaze the pan, so any part of the beef fillet that you’re worried will be burnt on to the pan should be lifted and incorporated into the mushrooms.)
6. Bring a pot of water to the boil, then add the cabbage leaves and allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the stalks are soft and pliable. Drain the cabbage and place aside to cool.
7. Once the beef, mushrooms and cabbage have cooled, move on to Step 8. (This is the assembly part, so I’ll add lots of photos to make it easier for you!)
8. Brush the fillet with some mustard until coated as desired.
9. Place two cabbage leaves flat on the bench, with the ends overlapping.
10. Spoon the mushroom onto the cabbage leaves in a shape similar to the fillet.
11. Place the fillet onto the mushrooms.
12. Place the remaining cabbage leaves over the fillet and tuck underneath to seal it in.
13. Place the cabbage parcel onto your pastry and wrap tightly, ensuring everything is sealed.
14. Transfer the wellington to the baking tray and brush with some beaten egg. (This will make it look nice and shiny.)
15. Slice a few slits into the top of the pastry. (This will allow any steam to escape, and it gives a nice rustic look too.)
16. Bake for 40-60 minutes to get your desired result. (For Rare-Medium Rare: 40 minutes, for Medium-Well Done: 50 minutes, and for Well Done: 60 minutes. I cooked mine to Well Done in order to gauge cooking times just to make it easier for you. It was a shame to do that to such an awesome fillet, but it still tasted great anyway!)
17. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for approx. 10 minutes.
18. Slice thickly, and serve!
Serves 6-10 (some people may want a second helping.)
A video of this recipe is also available at - https://youtu.be/44LULR3fSQM.
If you have a recipe to request, it's not too late! Please send me an email and I'll see what I can do.