Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Ooh la la! A little French cooking

Two food posts in a week? Crazy, I know. This one involves a real chef and considerably more meat than my last one though (which had none)!

One of the more unique invitations I've received through my blog lately was an invitation to learn some French cooking with Three Mobile, as part of their #FeelAtHome campaign. Now, as you know, I do try to keep things relevant on here, if not to vintage then to me personally, and I am actually on Three. I also really like food, so why not?

If you've ever wanted to cook a Boeuf en Croute (really Beef Wellington - not all that French really!), here's how, according to superstar chef Adam from Madame Gautier.

Beef Wellington 

500-600g Beef Fillet steak
350g Ready to roll Puff Pastry For the Mushroom Duxelle
150g Mushrooms (any)
1 small onion – finely diced
2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

For the Pancakes:
4oz (115g) Flour
2 Eggs
Half pint of milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of mixed herbs


First, you need a snazzy apron... and a big chunk of meat.


Start by rubbing oil, salt and pepper onto the steak, then fry the fillet in a dry pan until it has caramelised and has a deep rich brown outside. Remove the steak from the pan and place to one side to allow to cool. In the same pan, fry the finely diced onion, thyme and garlic for 1-2 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the mustard and cook for a further couple of minutes. Remove the onion and garlic from the pan, add a little oil and turn the heat up before add in the mushrooms. Fry the mushrooms in small batches, so that they fry quickly and caramelise, rather than stewing and leaking all of their water into the pan.

Second, if you have a chef with great knife skills, that helps ;)
Mushrooms... 

Shallots... 

And Thyme. 

Cook em up... 

Cut them into small bits! 

Once the mushrooms are cooked, introduce the onions back to the pan and mix together until even. Chop them or put all of the mix into a food processor and blend until smooth enough to spread. If you like, you can add a splash of cream to help. 



To make the pancakes, crack the two eggs into a jug with the milk, and whisk until combined. Add the herbs and salt to the flour. Slowly pour the milk and eggs on to the flour, whisking continuously until a smooth batter. Pass the mix through a sieve to remove any lumps. Fry 3-4 pancakes in the same frying pan again. This will ensure that all the flavour from the beef and mushrooms is kept, rather than going to waste.

Once all of the components have cooled, you can start to build the Wellington! Roll out the pastry, until it is roughly the thickness of a pound coin. Lay the pancakes out, so that there is enough surface area to fully coat the beef. Spread the mushroom duxelle over the pancakes before topping with the beef. Finally, roll the pancakes and pastry around the beef, before sealing the pastry at the bottom, and trimming away any excess pastry. 

Line with pancakes (see recipe) and slather. 

Put more on top... 

Wrap... 

Score!

When you are ready to cook, egg wash completely and place in the middle shelf of a pre-heated oven at 220C for 35-40 minutes. The longer it is cooked, the more well done the beef will be. For a medium cook, 35 minutes should be sufficient; however this does vary from oven to oven. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

And finally, enjoy! 

This was one of the most delicious things I have ever had. The way it worked was that we all made our own to take away and cook at home. I took no pictures of me doing the cooking (for obvious reasons), but no pictures of the final result either because I rather messed it up. I took it out of the fridge, whacked it in the oven and 40 minutes later it was not so much rare as still completely raw in the middle. I then had to fry the slices individually, so it made for a terrible picture.


Now, if you could just imagine me eating in this dress...

Sacre bleu! The Henri Fleur dress :) 

Thanks Madame Gautier for the experience and Three for inviting me - it's a great thing they're doing, letting you use your data abroad in lots of places. Though luckily for my boyfriend, who gets annoyed with me staring at my phone, the FeelAtHome thing is not available in Turkey where I am going on my holidays soon... so no 'hotdogs or legs' for me! MM, hotdogs.

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

1 comment:

  1. That looks devastatingly delicious. If you here a distant rumbling sound beyond the horizon, it's my stomach over here in Canada. :D

    ♥ Jessica

    ReplyDelete

I welcome all comments, praise and constructive criticism alike! Please note, though, that I don't respond to anonymous comments. If you want to offer a criticism then have the conviction to do so publicly. I thank you!

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