This is a real show-stopping centre piece for a special occasion. Serve with a red wine sauce
- 25g (1oz) butter
- 1tbsp vegetable oil
- 1kg (2lb 4oz) centre cut fillet of beef, trimmed of fat and sinew
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove
- 400g (14oz) chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped in a food processor
- 1tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 8 slices Parma Ham
- 2tsp Dijon mustard
- 500g pack all-butter puff pastry
- 1 free range egg yolk, mixed with 1tsp water
It is very important to allow the beef to rest before slicing. Do not cover the beef when it comes out of the or the pastry will go soggy
Melt the butter with the oil in a large frying pan. Add the beef and brown really well on all sides to seal. Remove to a plate.
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 and thyme, increase the heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. The mix should be thick and well reduced. Season and remove the mix to a plate to cool.
Lay a large sheet of cling-film on a worktop and arrange the Parma ham on it, in a large rectangle, with edges slightly overlapping. Spread the cooled mushroom mixture over the Parma Ham.
Spread the beef with the mustard and place in the centre of the Parma ham. Keeping a tight hold of the cling-film from the edge, roll the Parma ham and mushrooms around the beef to form a tight sausage shape. Twist the ends of the cling-film to secure. Chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 40cm x 30cm (16 x 12in) rectangle. Remove the cling-film from the beef and lay it in the centre of the pastry. Brush the surrounding pastry with the egg yolk. Fold the ends over, then wrap the pastry round the beef, cutting off any excess. Carefully turn over so the seam is underneath, and place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Make a couple of small incisions in the top of the pastry for the steam to escape, and use any pastry trimmings to make leaves for decoration on the top.
Glaze the pastry with the egg yolk and chill for 15 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200C, 180C fan, 400F, 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 180C, 160C 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, without covering before slicing. The beef should be nice and pink all the way through. If you like you beef cooked to medium, then bake for a further 5 minutes.