Private Cooking Lesson, Beef Fillet Wellington

Picture from previous Dinner Party

This week I met with the lovely Caroline in Surrey to prepare and cook a complete three course meal, from Crispy roast Duck Canapes to Beef Fillet Wellington, finishing with a Duo of Delicious Desserts. I took care of all the ingredients, cooking utensils, menu planning and aimed to get the cooking completed withing four hours. Very much a hands on lesson, Caroline did everything from start to finish under my guidance and working from demonstration where needed she was a complete super star. We had a fabulous afternoon and enjoyed exchanging plenty of cooking tips with each other, whilst enjoying plenty of tea and biscuits along the way   :)


Crispy Duck Rolls, Sweet Chilli Sauce

Ingredients: (Makes approx 20 Canapes)
Crispy Duck Filling 
1 Duck Leg, rubbed with Sea Salt and 5 Spice
4 Sheets Spring Roll Pastry
1 Spring Onion, cut into thin strips
1/2 Red Pepper, cut into thin strips
25 Grams Pre-cooked Noodles,
1 Table spoon Hoi-Sin Sauce
Little Flour and Milk for sealing the Pastry,

Sweet Chilli Sauce
250 Millimetre Rice Vinegar
250 Gram Granulated Sugard
1 Red Chilli, Seeds removed, roughly chopped
1/2 Red Pepper, roughly chopped
1 inch Ginger, cut into strips
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed,
Splash of Fish Sauce or pinch of Sea Salt

1) Rub the Duck with the Sea Salt and a teaspoon of 5 Spice and place skin side up on a baking tray, cooking for  about an hour on 180 until the skin is crisp and the meat is tender, pulling away from the bone easily when tried with a fork.
2) Whilst the Duck is cooling, thinly slice the Spring Onion and the Red Pepper.
3) Take the skin away from the Duck and shred with a knife. If it needs crispening up, pop back in a hot oven but it should be nice and dry. Pull the duck away from the bone with a fork or use your fingers. It should fall apart naturally. 
4) Mix the Duck Meat, Crispy Skin and Hoi Sin together in a bowl.
5) Lay out one Pastry square with the corner pointing towards you. Lay half the Duck across one line in the middle, along with a little Spring Onion, Red Pepper and Noodles. Brush each corner with the Flour and Milk mix and gently but firmly roll up the pastry, keeping all the filling tight in the centre of the Pastry.
6) Place another sheet of Pastry in the same manner and roll the duck again, this time ensuring everything is really tightly rolled.
7) Wrap in clingfilm and keep in the fridge until ready to cook.
8) In a hot pan, brown on all sides, slice into 10 with a sharp serrated knife and then tray up and cook in the oven for about 8 minutes to crispen up..
9) Serve with the Sweet Chili Sauce

(Sweet Chilli Sauce)
1) Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and boil for about five to ten minutes until reduced by half. 
2) When cooled slightly, blitz the sauce until nearly a puree but there should still be some texture to the vegetable ingredients.
3) Finish with a squeeze of lime for an extra Citrus kick.

Beef Fillet Wellington:
Picture from previous Lesson

Ingredients, (Feeds Four)
500 grams trimmed Beef Fillet,
Packet of Turkish Filo Pastry, (Sak Yufka)
500 grams Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced,
2 Shallots, roughly chopped,
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed,
Pinch Dried Thyme,
Pinch Dried Tarragon,
Sea Salt and cracked Black Pepper,
200 Grams Breadcrumbs,
Shot or Two of Port or Brandy,
4 Slices of Cured Ham, (Parma or Serrano)
Oil and Butter for cooking,

1) Liberally oil the Fillet Steak, also seasoning with Pepper and Thyme. Sear on all sides in a hot dry pan, adding a little butter to help colour and flavour. 
2) Wrap tightly in clingfilm to help hold the shape and allow to cool, placing back in the fridge for about an hour.
3) Add a little more oil if necessary, then add the Garlic to the same pan, sweating down for a minute before adding the Shallot, dried Thyme and Tarragon and Salt and Pepper.
4) Stir whilst cooking until the Shallots are translucent. (2 Minutes)
5) Add the Mushrooms and cook for about 3 minutes more.
6) Add The Brandy or Port and Reduce down until most of the liquor has evaporated.
7) Take off the heat and add half the Breadcrumbs, stirring them in.
8) The Duxelle should absorb all the Breadcrumbs, thickening up. Blitz in a food processor for a few minutes until chopped but not completely smooth as some texture is good. Add part of or all of the remaining breadcrumbs until the mixture is of a good dry consistency. (Not too dry!)
9) Set aside to cool.
10) Unfold the Pastry, Tearing at the seams so it falls into its natural pieces. 
11) Lay a large sheet of Clingfilm onto your work surface, layering the pastry sheets individually across each other atop. Brush each sheet on both sides with warm water as they're laid down, slightly overlapping until you have about four leave thickness and the desired surface area.
12) Lay the Parma Ham atop of the pastry sheets to the correct length of the fillet and enough width to cover its circumference.
13) Spread the chilled Duxelle onto the Parma Ham, covering the full area, about 1/2 Cm thick.
14) Place the Fillet atop the Duxelle and gently but firmly roll it as tightly as possible, folding the pastry underneath, brushing with more water if necessary to keep moist.
15) Wrap tightly in the clingfilm and re roll if necessary to ensure it's really tight.
16) Leave in the fridge until ready to cook.
17) To cook, Heat a thick bottomed pan and add a little oil. Heat 
to almost smoking before adding the Wellington. Colour on all sides, rubbing in a wedge of Butter before placing in a suitable tray for the oven. 
18) Allow 18 Minutes of cooking time for 500 Grams of Fillet at 190 and then 30 minutes resting time. It should be about 35Centigrade when coming out of the oven but the residual heat will take it to about 55. 
19) Slice carefully with a clean knife, Taking the ends off first and then judging your portions correctly. 

Dauphinoise Potatoes

2 Large Potatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 Medium Onion, thinly sliced
2 Cloves Garlic, Crushed
100 ml Double Cream
100 ml Full Fat Milk
Salt and Pepper
25 Gram Grated strong Cheese

1) Line the bottom of a baking tray with sliced Potatoes, overlapping slightly. 
2) Mix the Onions with the Garlic and spread half of them over the first layer of Potatoes.
3) Pour over a little Cream and Milk. Sprinkle with half the Cheese and some salt and Pepper.
4) Place another layer of Potatoes and repeat with the remaining Onions and Garlic, Cream, Milk, Cheese and the remaining Onions and Garlic, Salt and Pepper.
5) The Potatoes should just be covered with the Milk and Cream so pour over any remaining and then cover and then with baking Parchment and Foil.
6) Bake at 180 for 45 minutes and then remove the foil, cooking for a further 15 minutes until the Potatoes are soft.
7) When cooled, slice into squares and reheat in a hot oven.

Apple Tarte Tatin,
Picture from previous Party

Ingredients: (Makes 4)
2 Apples (Granny Smiths) 
100 Grams Puff Pastry
200 Grams Granulated Sugar
Egg Yolk for Glazing Pastry

1) Put all the sugar into a thick based pan over a gentle heat and watch over until it is browned, thickened and bubbling. You may need to take it on and off the heat a little to regulate the temperature or stir a little whilst heating.
2) Pour the Caramel onto a small tray and set aside.
3) Peel and core the Apples, cutting in half and placing flat side down.
4) Roll out the Pastry, dividing into four and covering each Apple.
5) Brush Egg Yolk onto each half and place the apples into the Caramel.
6) Cook at 180 for approx 15 Minutes until the Pastry is Crisp and the apples are soft.
7) Allow to rest and serve at room Temerature.

Minted White Chocolate Cheese Cake
Picture from previous Dinner Party

100 Grams mixed Digestives and Ginger Biscuits
40 Grams Melted Butter
100 Grams Cream Cheese

100 Grams Double Cream
50 Grams White Chocolate (Half melted, Half grated)
25 Grams Fresh Mint, chopped finely
Drop Green Food Colour
Drop of Peppermint Extract

1) Crush the Biscuits and mix with the melted Butter. Press into a greased round dish and place in the fridge to set.
2) Melt half the White Chocolate with a little of the Cream or a splash of Milk and set aside.
3) Whip the Cream with the Cream Cheese until stiff.
4) Fold in the chopped Mint, Colour and Extract and grated Chocolate.
5) When cooled, fold in the melted White Chocolate. Add a little of your cCheesecake mix to the melted Chocolate first and then fold all back in.
6) Taste for sweetness. You may need to add a little Icing Sugar, Vanilla extract or extra White Chocolate.
7) Put the mix into a piping bag and gently spread the mix over the chilled base.
8) Leave the Cheese cake in the fridge to set.

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