I’ve long refused to get digital tv. Not because I’m antique (ok, maybe a little), but just because I was afraid to get those tv channels that do nothing but broadcast cooking shows all day long. I feared that if I had that on tv, I wouldn’t get out of the house anymore, so it was really more some sort of self-preservation thing.
I confess, I’m a sucker for tv shows about cooking. And not the ones where they’ll show you people yelling at each other (sorry Gordon R!) but the ones where they just cook and bake while still being nice to each other. I’ll even stay home for my all time favourite, the Great British Bake Off (and the Dutch version as well). I could just watch them bake cookies and make cheeky jokes for ever. And contrary to most other talent shows, the judges are genuinely friendly.
Robèrt van Beckhoven, one of the judges of the Dutch version of the Great Bake Off (Heel Holland Bakt), has a pâtisserie in my hometown. When my youngest sister had to give a speech at school when she was about 10 years old (we’re talking 20 years ago), she chose the topic ‘bread’. Well, what can I say, in my family we all take food pretty serious! My mother took her to his bakery to talk to a real baker, and he really took his time to show her around the bakery, give her some samples of flour to show at school and tell her all about bread. How cute is that? I took a recipe by one of the British Bake Off judges, Paul Hollywood. I found a great video of him showing how to make puff pastry.
I decided to make a puff pastry classic, Beef Wellington. But in a very easy version, because I was just lazy (and I made the pastry myself, so I decided to give myself a break). And the good news is, you can make this as difficult as you like. Try a little bake off of your own by making the pastry yourself or take the fast lane and just use a store bought roll of puff pastry. I know the classic contains mushrooms and pâté (or ham), but this is the easy version, so I’ve cut out a few of the ingredients to keep it simple.
After years of refusal, I finally gave in and now have digital tv. And as it turns out I was right, I am watching cooking shows all day. Oh well, who cares? I certainly don’t.
- 600 gr (4/3 pound) of beef fillet
- 1 tbsp of mustard
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp of milk
- salt & pepper
- 1 roll of ready-to-use puff pastry (230 gr / 8 oz) OR make it yourself (1 day in advance!) see link with instruction video by Paul Hollywood in post
- 300 gr (2,5 cups) of flour
- 2 eggs
- 100 ml of water
- pinch of salt
- 200 gr (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp) of cold unsalted butter
- Take out the beef and let it get to room temperature
- Take a pan, heat a bit of butter and season the beef with salt & pepper
- Sear the beef just shortly on all sides, just to give it colour
- Take it out and allow it to cool, make sure it has cooled off before you wrap it in dough
- Rub the beef with the mustard
- Take out the puff pastry and roll out on a piece of baking paper
- Place the beef in the middle and wrap the pastry around it, cut of the extra pastry
- Cut the extra pastry in small strips and decorate the beef wellington
- Place it in the fridge for 30 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (390 F), place your baking sheet in the oven so that this gets really hot too
- Slightly beat the egg and mix in the milk
- Brush twice with egg wash and place in the oven
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Leave to rest for 10 minutes before cutting