All week I’ve been thinking about how to ‘deconstruct’ a beef wellington. Not because I’m trying to be a cheffy twat (although I kind of am). More to simplify a tricky dish that requires high levels of technical precision, and turn it into an achievable, yummy warm salad. Ok, so I possibly need to get out more.
But if you were as sad as me, you might be thinking along the lines of…fillet of beef carpaccio that melts in the mouth, some earthy meaty roasted mushrooms, pickled shallots for acidity, light and crisp chicken liver parfait vol-au-vents, a few leaves and plenty of rich silky red wine sauce to bring it all together.
It started off simply enough. I seared the beef and placed it in a low oven for a while, so it stays pink inside but warm and not bloody when thinly sliced.
I roasted portobello and chestnut mushrooms. An intense aroma wafted through the kitchen and hit my nostrils, like snorting mushroom cup-o-soup powder. That’s a good thing by the way.
I left sliced shallots in red wine vinegar and picked out some nice watercress leaves.
Then crikey I found myself cooking little rectangles of puff pastry before removing a pre-scored smaller inner rectangle, creating a snug little home for a small slab of chicken liver parfait.
Finally I reduced red wine on a high heat with beef stock, sugar and balsamic vinegar until thick and syrupy.
And it’s only when I plated it all up carefully before wolfing it down in seconds, that I realised the whole thing had been a bit of a faff. It probably would have been easier to make the real thing.
Ingredients: fillet steak, mushrooms, shallots, red wine vinegar, chicken liver parfait, puff pastry, red wine, balsamic, beef stock, sugar, salt, watercress