Saturday, December 4, 2010

Poor Man's Beef Wellington

I have to say, I've never had a proper beef wellington but the idea of beef in a puff could you go wrong?  However, you have to shell out quite a bit of money for beef tenderloin, one of the most expensive cuts of beef; enter the poor man's version of a beef wellington: a ground beef wellington.  And since I was bringing this to feed 3 hungry boys at the hospital, I just happened to have the perfect audience. 

The ground beef wellington was so good, too! You can make one large wellington or 4 individual ones (I even cut the individual ones in half).  First of all, it's just an impressive presentation of a golden brown crust and the smell just fills the room.  Bryant actually commented that tastes a little like a Shepard's pie in a flaky crust (it was from Jamie's Food revolution cookbook by Jamie Olivier, a native Brit).  While the ground beef wellington was great just the way it was, I'd like to tweak it next time by increasing the vegetables a bit and perhaps try serving it with some kind of sauce (maybe a spicy sauce?). I actually served it all on it's own but I think it would be good with a salad or (my next post) roasted cauliflower.

I have a feeling Bryant will be asking for this again...

Ground Beef Wellington
Taken from: Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution
Serves 4-6 (or 3 really hungry boys)
If your puff pastry is in the freezer, make sure to defrost it by sticking the 2 sheets in the refrigerator the night before.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1-2 stalk celery, diced
  • 1-2 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4-8 fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 twigs fresh rosemary, leaves pulled off the stems and chopped (I had to use two large pinches of dried rosemary)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 egg, beaten together in a small bowl
  • 3/4 - 1 pound ground beef (make sure to use at least 90% as the fat will actually drain onto the baking sheet!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a bit of flour
  • 2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted if frozen

-Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large skillet on medium low, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, potato, mushroom and rosemary. Cook, stirring, about 8-10 minutes. Add the frozen peas and stir for about a minute more.  Place this mixture in a large bowl and set it aside for a few minutes to cool a bit.
-To the large bowl with the vegetable mixture, add the ground beef, half the beaten egg and salt and pepper. Use your hands to mix it well.
-On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry. You can put the two sheets on top of each other and roll out one big rectangle (about 14×16″) and make a large Beef Wellington or cut that into 4 smaller rectangles to make 4 smaller ones.
-Place 1/4 of the ground beef mix onto the long seam of each rectangle, brush the outside long edges with some beaten egg and roll up lengthwise, pinching the edges together to seal. Put on a large cookie pan, seam side down.  Repeat for each. (I actually had enough leftovers for a 5th.)
-Brush the tops with the rest of the egg and bake for an hour at 350 F.

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