Festive, Mains, recipes

A Cheats Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington - cheats style

Beef Wellington is usually made with Fillet of Beef but it does cost a fortune.  I have cheated and made mine with a topside of Beef  and sliced thinly it really is a treat.


You will need

Topside of Beef is a treat but it is an achievable treat and one that we have a few times in the year. It is substantially cheaper than Fillet of Beef, which tends to be outrageously expensive. So why not try Topside for Christmas lunch instead of that boring old Turkey?  Be honest – how much do you love cold turkey?  The odd sandwich with some stuffing is o.k. on Boxing Day, but really – curry, sandwiches, turkey pie, turkey for breakfast?  Shake off those Turkey chains and join the Cheats queue.


Here is what you do to achieve a Beef Wellington without the high cost on your nerves and your pocket


Buy a joint of rolled topside of Beef, weighing about 1.36 kilos (3lbs) tied with string.

Buy a punnet of ordinary mushrooms and be daring, use a clove of garlic as well.

Buy a packet of puff pastry from your favourite supermarket.

Take some mustard and some horseradish from your store cupboard, and some butter from the fridge.

A few more cloves of garlic to insert into the raw beef before it is cooked.

Take the beef and place it on your chopping board.  Insert a sharp knife at intervals to make slits in the top, the sides and front and back of the rolled joint.  Slice several cloves of garlic into thin slivers and push them into the slits.

Place into a roasting tin with oil and a bit of butter and cook on a high heat (190 degrees)  for about 1 hour 30 minutes (less if you like it rare – rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound) Place the joint onto the side to rest. (It will be exhausted from all that garlic and cooking)

Finely chop a punnet of mushrooms and sauté in about 2oz butter, simmer for a while to reduce any liquid until the mixture is quite dry. Add a teaspoon of mustard to the mushrooms and stir. Leave to cool.

When your beef  and your mushrooms are cool, pat the dry mushroom mixture around the sirloin using your hands (washed of course)

Take the puff pastry and roll it out to a rectangular shape to completely wrap your sirloin joint.  Make sure the seam is on the bottom of the sirloin, covered up when you are cooking the pastry.  Brush the pastry with beaten egg and if you are feeling artistic, make Christmas shapes with left over pastry and seal onto the roll with beaten egg.


Place the whole dish into the oven on a high heat,(about 190 degrees) and then you can pretend you are on the bake off – make sure the puff pastry rises and cooks and turns a golden colour. To do this you could lie on the floor!

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool before making gravy from the juices of the pan.


To make a sauce

Pour all the juices from the pan into a large frying pan or sauté pan. Add a little more butter if necessary and then add flour and mix to a sandy like mixture.  Gradually add stock and a little red wine if you have it, to this mixture and mix until smooth.  Add a teaspoon of horseradish and some seasoning, a little apricot jam (just a spoonful) and make thick gravy.

Slice the Wellington into thin slices and serve with the gravy.  Prepare to be admired!



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