Beef Wellington with Spinach
Baby spinach adds a fresh vibrancy to this classic dish. While it does require a bit of forward planning, this fool-proof version breaks down the steps and the end result is well worth the time.
Start the night before to set the shape of your beef. Wrap the fillet in cling film, then roll to tighten into a firm, even sausage shape. Tie off the ends and chill overnight.
To begin assembling, remove the beef from the cling film and rub the fillet with a little olive oil. Sear in a hot frying pan until browned all over, then set aside and leave to cool.
In the same pan (adding extra oil if needed), cook the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the spinach to wilt. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool. Wrap the spinach in a clean tea towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Very finely chop the spinach and mix with the panko crumbs.
On a clean bench, spread out a couple of layers of cling film, large enough to wrap the beef. Lay down prosciutto slices, slightly overlapping, in a large rectangle. Spread the spinach and breadcrumb mix in an even layer over the prosciutto.
Brush the beef fillet with the Dijon, season generously with salt and pepper, then place in the centre of the spinach mixture. Using the cling film, wrap the beef neatly into a cylinder, rolling together tightly. Tie off the ends and refrigerate for a few hours to reform the sausage shape.
On a large sheet of baking paper, roll out the puff pastry to a 3mm thickness, large enough to cover the beef completely. Brush the surface of the pastry with the egg wash (this willl stop it from going soggy). Carefully remove the cling film from around the beef and place the fillet in the centre of the pastry. Fold the shorter ends in, then roll up tightly, sealing the ends of the pastry together. Turn the beef over so that the seal is underneath. Brush the pastry with egg wash and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220°C and put a lipped baking tray in the oven to heat up. Brush the pastry again with the egg wash and sprinkle over the sesame and fennel seeds.
Transfer the beef to the pre-heated tray and bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200°C and cook for a further 20 minutes for rare (if using a meat thermometer, internal temperature should be 45-50°C), 25 minutes for medium rare (55-60°C), or 30 minutes for medium (60-65°C). If the pastry starts to darken too quickly, loosely cover it with foil.
Remove from the oven and rest for a least 20 minutes before slicing. Carve with a sharp knife and serve with the red wine gravy.
For the red wine gravy:
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and fry the shallot and thyme until softened. Add the flour and cook for a few minutes until golden. Add the red wine and bring to a boil, whisking all the time. Add the beef stock, continuing to whisk until it returns to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes and season to taste.
900g - 1kg Greenlea beef fillet, ideally cut from the centre
olive oil for frying
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300g bag baby spinach
1 cup panko crumbs
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 packets prosciutto, pancetta, or streaky bacon
1 packet Paneton puff pastry
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
For the red wine gravy:
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped thyme leaves
¼ cup flour
½ cup red wine
500ml Foundation Foods beef stock