Thursday, January 23, 2020

On the MENU this Week. Beef en Croute for Two

After the long power cut we had at the weekend, caused by the fierce gales which hit us on Saturday night, when we dared not open our freezer, Lynne went in to see what she could make for supper and found a small piece of beef fillet - and a sheet of Woolworths Puff pastry. And some chicken liver pâté she’d made at Christmas. So combine those three pantry ingredients and you get a classic Beef en Croute for 2. We made it to celebrate the end of the wind. It is not difficult to make and actually doesn’t take that long but getting the timing right is crucial if you need your steak perfectly cooked, medium rare, à la Gordon Ramsay. She used his times and hope that they will work for you. She made a large crêpe pancake to enclose the beef in, so that the pastry would not get soggy from the pâté

1 x 400 g fillet of beef – salt and freshly ground black pepper – 1 T olive oil – a tub of good chicken liver pâté – puff pastry in a sheet large enough to cover the fillet – 1 whipped egg yolk to use as egg wash
1 cup all-purpose flour - 2 eggs - ½ cup milk - ½ cup water - ¼ teaspoon salt - 2 tablespoons butter, melted – oil to fry in
Stir the eggs into the flour and slowly beat the milk and water, avoiding lumps to get a smooth batter; finally add the salt to the melted butter. Fry in a large flat frying pan to get large crêpes
Season the fillet well all over and then, in a hot pan, fry in the olive oil until browned on all sides. Wrap in cling film tightly to keep the shape regular and refrigerate.
Make one large thin pancake, large enough to wrap the entire fillet. (You can use the rest of the mix to make more for yourself to eat with sugar, cinnamon and lemon).
Remove the cling film from the fillet and cover it with a layer of pâté. Then wrap it carefully in the pancake, sticking it down with pâté. Make as neat a parcel as you can, trimming off any excess. Make sure the pâté is completely covered and will not leak out. Refrigerate, wrapped in cling film.
Defrost the pastry if using frozen and it is bought (no shame in that!). Roll it out till it is large enough to completely cover the fillet on all sides, with a turnover on the bottom. Remove the cling film and cover the fillet with the pastry, making a neat parcel, and be sure to seal the overlapping ends with egg wash. Turn your oven on to 220°C.
Egg wash the pastry all over, lightly score a pattern on the outside (do not cut through the pastry) and then place in the fridge for 10 minutes. Place it on baking paper on a baking tray and put into the oven for 20 minutes for medium rare. Use a meat thermometer or thermal probe to ensure that the internal temperature has reached 52°C. Stick the probe through the top as escaping meat juices might spoil the crisp pastry if you go through the sides. When it has reached 52°C, (and as ovens are different, it might take a little longer) remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving. A good meaty jus or a Madeira sauce is perfect with this. We had it with creamy mashed potatoes and steamed tenderstem broccoli. And it went so well with a beautiful Rudera Syrah 2010. No longer available in the shops, sadly

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