I’ve tried mozzarella and ricotta from the Laverstoke buffalo to great satisfaction – now it’s time to move on to the meat itself. The premium piece in my Laverstoke meat box was a buffalo fillet. I immediately knew what I wanted to make: an alternative to Beef Wellington. I haven’t seen the buffalo version done anywhere on the internet, BUT I first got the inspiration from reading Obama Foodorama, which reveals that Bison Wellington was served to David Cameron at a White House Dinner in March. I love it!
On closer inspection, the fillet was in two steak-sized pieces, albeit quite chunky. So I modified a recipe based on Gordon Ramsay’s from F Word, to make Mini Buffalo Wellingtons for two (or Galoshes?! :)). My sous chef for the day was Chris (it was he who insisted on making Yorkshire pudding for our Sunday roast… )
You will need:
- Two buffalo fillets – mine were 175g each
- Puff pastry – I used a 350g sheet
- 350g flat mushrooms
- One egg
- Four slices of Parma ham (this is the only, only time I have used meat not from a meat box, and I feel bad that I broke my own rule. Please forgive me)
It’s quite a simple ingredient list – Wellington really isn’t hard to make. The hardest thing is guestimating oven time to get your meat the right colour.
- First, season and quickly sear your buffalo steaks on all sides, then set it aside to cool down. Meanwhile, prepare a mushroom pate, which is going to encase the fillets inside the pastry.
- Chop up your flat mushrooms and blend them into a paste. As I was doing this in Chris’s house, he took it at his leisure to inform me only halfway into the chopping process that his blender was broken. He then pioneered what can only be described as a ‘squooshing’ technique using two chopping boards to smash the chopped mushrooms into something resembling a paste. Hmm! Put the mushroom mix into a hot, dry pan and let all the moisture evaporate, then set aside to cool.
- When the fillets and mushroom mix are cool, it’s time to prepare the inside filling. For each Wellington, lay two slices of ham side by side on a large piece of clingfilm. Cover the ham with mushroom pate, using kitchen towel to soak up any excess water. Then place the fillet in the middle, and use the clingfilm to roll the ham/pate tightly around it to resemble a sausage roll. Chill in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the parcel to firm up.
- Roll out your pastry to make two square sheets. Place one fillet parcel in the middle of each and wrap it up neatly. Cut off any excess pastry and use it to decorate. Sous chef and I got very competitive – whose do you like more? (Mine is the one with the J, obvs.)
- Put your mini Wellingtons in an oven preheated to 200C. I guestimated the time for a rare fillet to be 20C, which was about right. Unfortunately the pastry didn’t have enough time to get properly crispy and golden, but if you are using a larger cut that won’t be a problem.