Beef encroute with red wine sauce

by Kate Thompson on Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus chilling
Cooking time:  45 minutes
Serves: 6
Prepare ahead

25g (1oz) butter
1tbsp vegetable oil
1kg (2lb 4oz) centre cut beef fillet,
trimmed of fat and sinew
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
400g (14oz) chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped in a food processor
1tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
3tbp double cream
8 slices of Parma ham
1tbsp Dijon mustard
375g pack all butter puff pastry
1 free-range egg yolk mixed with 1tsp water

for the red wine sauce
25g (1oz) shallots, peeled, halved and finely
12 shallots, peeled, halved and finely sliced
3 sprigs thyme
300ml (½ pt) red wine
500ml (18fl oz) beef stock

Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan.  Add the beef and brown really well on all sides, to seal it.  Remove to a plate.

2  Discard most of the fat in the pan, add the shallots, reduce the heat and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Add the mushrooms, increase the heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the thyme and cream and cook for 4 minutes.  The mix should be thick and well reduced. Season and remove the mix to a plate to cool.

3  Lay a large sheet of clingfilm on a worktop and arrange the Parma ham on it, in a large rectangle, with edges slightly overlapping.  Spread the mushroom mix over the Parma ham.

4  Spread the beef with the mustard and place in the centre of the Parma ham.  Keeping a tight hold of the clingfilm from the edge, roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight sausage shape.  Twist the ends of the clingfilm to secure.  Chill for 15 to 20 minutes.

5  Roll out the pastry on a floured surface to a 40 x 30cm (16 x 12in) rectangle.  Remove the clingfilm from the beef and lay it in the centre of the pastry.  Brush the surrounding pastry with egg yolk.  Fold the ends over, then wrap the pastry round the beef, cutting off any excess.  Turn over so the seam is underneath, and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.  Score the top of the pastry with a sharp knife at 1cm (½in) intervals and glaze with the egg yolk and water mix.  Chill for 15 minutes.

6  For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan and add the shallots and thyme.  Season, cover and cook on a low heat for 20 minutes, until the shallots are very soft but without colour.  Add the wine, increase the heat and reduce by half.  Add the wine, increase the heat and reduce by half.  Add the stock and again reduce by half.  Remove the thyme and check the seasoning.

7  Heat the oven to 200 C, 180 C fan, 400 F, gas 6 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf to heat.  Place the beef on its baking sheet directly on top of the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Lower the oven temperature to 180 C, 160 C fan, 350F, gas 4 and cook for a further 15 minutes.  If the top of the pastry is getting too brown, cover with a sheet of oiled foil.  Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with the red wine sauce.  The beef should be nice and pink in the middle.  If you like your beef cooked to medium, then bake for a further 5 minutes.

Per serving: 671 calories, 37g fat (17g saturated), 6g carbohydrate

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