Christmas in Provence, Beef Wellington, what rustic elegance!

Photo credits: C’est Ma Food.

This year, we’ve decided, Christmas dinner will be both elegant and rustic! There is a real need to go back to basics, and what better than cooking up an original, family-favourite beef dish. The recipe is Beef Wellington – “so British!” as the French like to say – delicately cooked tenderloin of beef enveloped in crispy puff pastry. Beneath this golden coat hides a duxelles of bacon, mushrooms and chestnuts, set off by some spices and parsley.

This sets the tone. Like an echo of this dish, the A.O.C Rasteau red wine will be generous and vibrant. A structured wine with different strata that reveal themselves just like the Beef Wellington as it is cut into. With its notes of dark fruits, garrigue scrubland, and spices, this nectar of the vine mingles with the strong flavours of the vegetables, deglazed with cognac, and the smoky notes of the bacon. Long and lingering on the palate, it lets its delicate tannins and its elegance satisfy their potential with each mouthful. A delectable note of humus-tinged terroir creates a link between plate and glass. What could be better than to end the year on a generous note, finding a balance between force and gentleness?

Preparation: 40 minutes / Rest time: 20 minutes / Cooking time: 30 minutes / Serves 4

Ingredients

•  A few leaves of parsley
• 1 shallot
• ½ tsp of mustard seeds
• ¼ tsp of coriander seeds
• ½ tsp of black peppercorns
• 250 g button mushrooms
• 30 g butter
• 80 g cooked chestnut flakes
• 3 tbsp of cognac
• 1 tbsp of olive oil
• 650 g fillet of tenderloin beef
• 100 g of thinly sliced smoky bacon
• 1 puff pastry
• 1 egg yolk
• Salt

Preparation

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 210°C.
  2. Chop the parsley and finely slice the shallot.
  3. Grind the mustard and coriander seeds and peppercorns using a pestle and mortar.
  4. Rinse and peel the mushrooms, and then chop them finely.
  5. In a pan, melt 20 g of butter over a medium heat. Add the shallots, mushrooms, chestnuts, ground spices, parsley and two pinches of salt.
  6. Leave to simmer for around 10 minutes.
  7. Deglaze the preparation with the cognac and leave to simmer for 3 more minutes.
  8. In a cook pot, melt the remaining butter with the olive oil.
  9. Brown the beef on all sides for a few seconds and then set aside.
  10. On plastic film, make a bed with the strips of bacon and thinly coat with half of the mushroom mixture.
  11. Place the fillet of beef in the middle and roll, enveloping it in the bacon strips. Pull the film tight to hold the ingredients firmly in place and leave to rest for a few minutes.
  12. Remove the plastic film, roll out the puff pastry and place the beef in the centre. Dampen the edges of the pastry slightly with water. Fold the pastry around the beef and push the edges together firmly.
  13. Mix together the egg yolk and a tablespoon of water. Use a basting brush to spread this mixture over the pastry and use the tip of a knife for decorative scoring.
  14. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, leave to rest for a few minutes before cutting into thick slices. Serve a slice per guest along with a helping of the remaining mushroom mixture.

Tip: For perfectly golden pastry, baste with a first coating of egg yolk, place in the fridge for around ten minutes and then baste the pastry a second time.

To finish this festive meal, discover our food and wine pairing for dessert!

Photo credits: Anne Faubeau for C’est Ma Food.

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